Get some fresh air with these seven outdoor workouts
The nice weather is finally here, so you should make it a top priority to spend some quality time with Mother Nature. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and all of the trees are in bloom. After a long, cold winter, it’s time for us warm weather warriors to have some fun. While some might think that the only way to get a good workout is to lace up their gym shoes and pump iron inside, hoop it up indoors in their gym shorts or to attend their local yoga studio, there are tons of outdoor activities that can keep you on track to hit your fitness goals.
Why Outdoor Workouts Can Be Your New Favorite
While the ritual of lacing up our gym shoes and hitting the gym is fulfilling for a lot of us, working out outside brings a host of other benefits. For one, it keeps things interesting and allows you to train in a variety of different settings and environments. Also, our bodies just practically crave fresh air and sunshine. We need our outside time, and when you’re spending your workouts indoors, it’s a nice breath of literal fresh air to put in some work outdoors. Plus, if your area is warm enough, you’ll break a crazy good sweat while exercising outside.
Here are seven outdoor workouts and activities to try this spring and summer.
Hit the Beach or a Sandy Area
If you live near a beach or just a sandy volleyball court, you can add a little more difficulty to your runs and sprints. Sand doesn’t provide the springiness pavement does, so moving forward takes a bit more effort. When you crank up the intensity of the run, it becomes even more difficult. How you work out in the sand is up to you, with some preferring to just sprint back and forth between cones and others adding additional exercises like pushups, burpees and jumping jacks to mix it up. Make sure to wear sunscreen and get after it!
Bodyweight Workout at the Park
Who says you need weights to build some muscle and strength? Our bodies are perhaps the most convenient weights out there, and with the right technique and leverage, you can get a really good pump practically anywhere. One of these places could be your neighborhood park.
If you’re fortunate enough to have an urban gym near you, you should make use of the equipment there. If not, just a park bench and a chin-up bar could be all you need for a full-body workout circuit. Try doing exercises such as modified pushups, dips, mountain climbers and pullups. You can focus on reps, but if you’re a bit more experienced and want to up the intensity, go for time instead of reps. Increase the time with each park workout and you’ll start to see results.
Go for a Hike
Hiking is about as ancient as you can get when it comes to working out. What used to be purely a way to get from point A to point B is now a hobby. With our lives spent in cities and buildings, getting lost in the woods or foothills is a nice escape. Every area is different, so you’ll have to check around for convenient hiking destinations near you. Typically, trails are rated by difficulty and length, so you know what you’re getting into before you start your ascent. Find one that matches your skill level, bring some water and get out there on a nice, scenic walk through your city’s backyard.
Find Some Hills and Start Sprinting
Hill sprints are a type of interval training that your treadmill just can’t compete with. Besides the intense cardio burn, it’s also a great way to build strength in your legs and core too, as your bodyweight battles against gravity. Start with a light jog for 10 to 15 minutes and then find yourself a moderately steep hill. Aim for 12 total sets with the first four sets being at 50% effort, the next four at 75% and the final four sets being 90% or more. Once you’re done, you’ll feel a burn like never before.
Cycle Your Heart Out
Cycling is just as much of an exercise as running or weightlifting is. From road cycling to mountain biking, there’s a style and environment for everyone. The commonality is that the best cycling is typically outdoors. Of course, with the proper safety gear and your sweat-wicking gym shorts, you can get a great leg workout and up your cardio endurance during long rides.
Just like running, there’s a type of cycling to fit different goals. If you’re trying to build some leg strength and size, you might enjoy powering up hills. For endurance, you’ll enjoy long rides across town. Whatever your goal, get a bike, the proper protective gear and get outside and enjoy the weather.
Although stand-up paddleboarding might seem more like fun (it is) than a workout, it can totally help you hit those stabilizer muscles you might never notice and improve your balance. Our core and feet are full of tiny muscles that help us maintain our balance. Many people like to compare stand-up paddleboarding to hiking on water in a sense since you need to use your whole body to paddle your way across the water. If you’re lucky enough to have a big pond or lake nearby, get out onto the water and give this workout a try.
Shoot Some Outdoor Hoops
There are loads of public basketball courts around most urban areas; no membership required. The blacktop provides a different feel and can be a bit rougher, so it helps if you have a pair of rugged or beater basketball shoes dedicated to the blacktop. The best part about basketball is you don’t need a group or team to play. Simply start shooting hoops and sprint after the ball after every shot. It might seem like a ton of fun, but it’s a killer way to burn some calories and improve your hand-to-eye coordination.
Get Geared Up and Get After It
The great outdoors are calling. Whichever exercise or activity you decide to try, you’ll need the right gear. Make sure that you have safety equipment for cycling, along with the proper footwear for running, cycling and shooting hoops. Finally, the appropriate footwear plus cool, lightweight apparel like gym shorts and athletic leggings will keep you dry through even your sweatiest outdoor workouts. All that’s left to do now is find a day and get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
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Find the apparel and footwear you need to elevate your performance at Reebok.com