No gym? No problem! When it comes to working out, summer says keep it simple – it’s time to get an outdoor workout.

Slip on some shorts, lace up your runners, and slap on some sunscreen, shades and a hat. There, you’re good to go!

The best part? When we exercise outdoors we optimize our physical health and care for our mental health too. Studies confirm that exercise, particularly in the great outdoors, is as effective as many medications in fighting stress, managing anxiety and treating mild to moderate depression.

Happily, no matter where you live, you’ve got options. Make time to enjoy all five of these outdoor workouts and you’ll not only be exercising, you’ll be cross training!

5 Easy Ways to Get an Outdoor Workout

Walking
In your community, while away on vacation, or as active transportation to power yourself from home to work and back again, walking is earning acclaim as the ‘superfood’ of exercise. To get even more benefits, add poles to power up your walking workouts and work 90% of the muscles in your body. Finish off your walk with a few minutes of upper strength training with a set of dumbbells, kettlebells, or a resistance band.

Cycling
Banana seats may not be back, but cycling as a means of staying fit, spending time with family, getting around town, and going green, all make great sense. Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease. If you find yourself having too much fun to believe you’re getting a workout, throw some hills into the mix and you may well reconsider!

Outdoor yoga
Grab your mat or towel and unroll it on the grass, deck, dock, sand or your balcony. If you practice regularly, move through a familiar sequence of yoga poses while listening to the sounds of nature – birds, water, the wind blowing through the trees. Can’t hear nature over the sound of cars, car horns or construction? Pop in your ear buds and enjoy some tranquil music instead. New to yoga? Follow along to a free online class. Even just 10 minutes offers benefits.

Tennis
How often do you pass by your community tennis court and see them sitting empty? Well not anymore! Grab some racquets and a couple of cans of balls (oh, and don’t forget the kids or grandkids!) and get great workout as you practice for Wimbledon. Here are 15 reasons tennis is your game.

Running
Anyone who runs, is a runner. Whether you run occasionally or often, fast or slow, a short distance or a long one, you’re sure to get a workout. A runner of many years, I enjoy several short runs a week, adding stair climbing and jump rope intervals into the mix to challenge myself and increase my heart rate. If you’re new to running, alternate a few minutes of walking with a minute or two of running and repeat the pattern for the duration of your workout. There’s no shame in this approach… to the contrary, you’re interval training.

Getting an outdoor workout can also be as simple as some heavy-duty gardening, playing soccer at the park with the kids or grandkids, or enjoying some after-dinner badminton in your own backyard.

 

PIN this to your favourite motivation board to Get Active and remind you to try all 5 of these Outdoor Workouts!

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