Outdoor Workouts To Challenge Yourself This Summer

unsplash-logoViktor Kern

There’s no time like summer to take your workouts outdoors. Exercising out in nature releases feel-good hormones to boost your mood and gives you your dose of vitamin D — essential for healthy bones. Moreover, outdoor workouts also burn more calories than indoor ones due to the extra challenge of changing temperature and terrain, research from the University of Exeter reveals. And if you’re wondering how to start exercising outdoors, we’ve got you covered. Here are three fun workouts to build your strength, endurance, and fitness.

Pool workout

Water workouts are low-impact exercises gentle on muscles, bones, and joints. They’re therefore great for people with fibromyalgia and arthritis. Pool workouts also strengthen your balance, stamina, and agility — making them perfect for beginners and experts alike.

Swimming laps are enough to work for all your major muscle groups and burn hundreds of calories, but you can mix your swim session up with other moves. Stationary exercises like jumping jacks, leg lifts, and flutter kicks are extra challenging underwater. Use ankle weights for an even bigger burn.

Go cycling

If you prefer working out from the shaded, air-conditioned comfort of your home, a stationary bike is ideal. Gradually increase the intensity and you’ll test your endurance and get a great workout in. However, there’s something freeing about cycling in the great outdoors. Jump on your bike and try this half hour workout:

  • 15 minute warm up, moderate pace

  • 10 seconds fast pedalling, 1-minute recovery

  • 20 seconds fast pedalling, 1-minute recovery

  • 30 seconds fast pedalling, 2-minute recovery

  • 10 seconds fast pedalling, standing up, 1-minute recovery

  • 15 seconds fast pedalling, standing up, 1-minute recovery

  • 20 seconds fast pedalling, standing up, 2-minute recovery

  • 5 minutes moderate pace, 5-minute easy riding

Beach workout

A brisk walk or run on the beach is a deceptive challenge. Loose sand provides plenty of resistance: you’ll strengthen your muscles and burn more calories than you would on a treadmill. Take it up a notch and do this beach leg workout:

  • Reverse lunges (15 reps per leg)

  • High knees (30 seconds)

  • Squat jumps (15 reps)

  • Jumping jacks (1 minute)

Repeat this set three times, taking a 30-second rest in between sets.  

Finally, always remember to stay hydrated and wear sweatproof sunscreen to stay safe. You can also start venturing further afield and exploring new places to workout. Exercising outdoors is a great way to stay healthy, but — most importantly — it keeps fitness fun!