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Last Updated on September 10, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
I have a gym membership and use it multiple times a week to stay in shape. However, once the warm weather starts to hit, I start looking for a few outdoor workout ideas to get me into nature while I exercise. Outdoor workouts are a great way to soak up a few Vitamin D boosting rays of sunlight while you burn some calories.
Outdoor exercises without equipment will save you tons of money if you can't afford a gym membership. Of course, there are a few key pieces of exercise equipment that you may want to invest in and I will include some recommendations that might help. Consider asking friends and family for workout gifts when your birthday rolls around. Then, find a few outdoor workout routines that you enjoy and go get your sweat on this month! It's a fun way to boost physical fitness levels and improve overall health.
8 Outdoor Workout Ideas To Boost Physical Fitness Levels
Getting in shape often means a few too many hours trapped in a crowded and stuffy gym. With the warm weather finally making an appearance, bodies and brains crave fresh air and sunlight. You don’t need a gym membership to get fit this spring or summer. Check out these eight outdoor workout ideas to burn calories and boost physical fitness levels without ever setting foot inside a gym.
1. Change Up Your Run
Tired of running around your neighborhood? Head to your local park for your morning jog instead. It will be more fun if you invite a workout buddy and often, running with friends makes you more committed to your workout. Consider working out by doing sprints together to push your outdoor workouts to the max. Give your running partner a head start, then sprint to catch up. Other outdoor workout ideas to incorporate into your run include things like running backwards or doing a high step run with knees coming up towards your chest. These are great outdoor exercise activities if you are a beginner when it comes to fitness.
2. Park Bench Exercises
Most parks have park benches and if you need outdoor exercises without equipment, this one will help you build muscle without spending a dime. You can try park bench pushups or park bench dips that will work upper arm muscles. For park bench dips, sit on the park bench and place your hands on either side of your hips. Bring your butt forward and off the edge of the bench. You will be supporting your weight with your hands. Bend your elbows, bringing your upper arms almost parallel to the ground. Then return to your starting position. Keep your lower back close to the bench during this exercise and work up to 10 or 15 repetitions before resting.
3. Outdoor Pull-ups
Pull-ups are an amazing part of your outdoor workout plan. They obviously work your arms and shoulders but also your core stomach and back muscles as well. You can use your kids' jungle gym in the backyard or the playground equipment at your local park. Get a great abdominal workout by doing vertical stomach crunches. The only thing you need other than a jungle gym for this outdoor workout is the weight of your body! If you are looking for challenging additions to your outdoor workout routines, this one will build serious muscle!
4. Stair Workouts without a Machine
I use the stair machine regularly at the gym and it is a great butt and thigh workout. Take your stair workouts to the next level and use outdoor stadium stairs instead of a machine. Most local high schools have a football stadium with stairs that you can use during off hours. If you are looking for outdoor workout ideas that combine cardiovascular workouts with strength training, stadium stairs are a great choice. Not only does it build overall physical fitness levels, it is a great way to strengthen legs and glutes. Who needs expensive gym equipment when a few stairs will give you the same workout?
5. Achieve Zen in Nature
All you need for yoga and pilates is a flat surface and a comfortable yoga mat. They make great outdoor workouts for beginners since you can modify most poses to something you are comfortable achieving on your own. Talk to your friends about starting an outdoor yoga session and see if you can get a group together. You may even ask at your local gym if any of the instructors are interested in leading it for a small fee.
6. Imitate your kids!
How many of you have kids who enjoy bike riding and rollerblading? Who says that those outdoor workout ideas are ONLY for children! Strap on a bicycle helmet and invest in a pair of roller blades. Or, just bring your kids to the local park and play soccer with them. Your outdoor workouts are a great time to invite the whole family and reconnect with each other.
7. Head Into the Woods
Hiking is a great outdoor workout that has both cardio and muscle toning benefits. Make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots to protect your ankles from injury. Find a friend to join you on your hiking adventure. If you’re really adventurous, consider adding rock climbing to your outdoor workout! However, definitely get some instruction before you do. Check out my hiking tips for women before you head out onto the trail and consider taking your kids. We go hiking with teens regularly and it can be a lot of fun!
8. Hit the Water
When the temperature soars, outdoor workouts can become challenging. In the heat of summer, look for outdoor workout ideas that involve WATER! Swimming is great for resistance training and is a serious boost to cardiovascular health. You can also follow up a strenuous routine of outdoor exercise activities with a quick swim. The water makes you feel weightless, giving a well-deserved rest to your tired muscles.
If you are sick of gym workouts, consider a few of these outdoor workout ideas to boost physical fitness levels. Design your outdoor workout plans to take advantage of the nice weather and hit the gym on days it rains. If you are bored with treadmills and sick of the crowds at the gym, create outdoor workout routines that build muscle and burn calories!
Have any other outdoor workout ideas to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.