Exercise is beneficial to your body in so many ways. It can help you to lose and maintain your weight, build up resistance and improve your overall health. However, working out in a gym can become boring, especially for those who prefer spending time outdoors. If you enjoy the smell of fresh air and the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair as you exercise, then read on below for some outdoor workouts to build up a sweat.
Get on your bike and ride
Bikes are a highly effective form of exercise, and they allow you to work your whole body while having fun at the same time. You can opt for a mountain bike and take to the rocky trails of your local mountain biking track or you could look into a road bike to train for an upcoming race.
Riding a bike is great cardio, which helps with burning fat and stimulating the mind. You do not have to speed along on your new bike, you can take it easy and choose a winding path through a local park if you prefer. It is important to ensure that you always wear a helmet and protective gear, and have spare mountain bike parts available should you need to make any repairs. Invest in comfortable riding gear and enjoy a full-body workout with ease.
Hill-sprints are a good example of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and provide a high-calorie-burning workout in a short amount of time. Look for a hill in your area that you feel confident about tackling and start sprinting.
Your workout should look something like this: to warm up, go for a five to twenty minute run. Then move onto doing twelve hill sprints, walking back down as ‘active rest’ before completing the next. A hill-sprint can also be considered as functional strength training, as your body battles against gravity and strengthens during the entire process. Be sure to bring plenty of water and electrolytes with you during hot weather.
Use the park benches
If there is a park nearby you, you can use then benches dotted around it as part of your exercise. Go for a light jog to warm up your muscles, then head to the nearest bench and start your workout.
You can include movements such as bench climbers, using actions similar to mountain climbers, bench step-ups and dips. You could also look for tyres that have been laid out for children to play on and include these as part of an obstacle course routine or for lower push-ups and burpees. You do not have to take any equipment with you when exercising outdoors but t is important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
Reinvent the wall sit… with a tree
Again, if you have a tree-filled park nearby you can use this to your advantage. Look for a tree-trunk that does not have bark coming off or splintery wood and use it to do a wall sit, going up in time increments of 30 seconds if you can.
With your back against the tree, lower your body into a squat, with your knees at 90 degrees. Then straighten your right leg and hold it up for 30 seconds Lower your leg and repeat with the left. Do fifteen reps of this or as many as you can manage. You can add an extra element by looking for a medium-sized rock to hold while doing the wall sit. Be careful of choosing one that is too heavy for you to hold up.
Squatting with stones
Squats are some of the best exercises that you can do for your body, and you do not need to go to the gym or use equipment to do them. Look for a medium-sized stone or rock in your garden or in a park to use for a few reps of squats to get a full body workout.
The proper way to do squats is to stand with your feet hip-width apart, tighten your stomach muscles, lower your body as if you are sitting and keep your upper body as straight as possible. It is important not to arch or curve your back, as this could cause a lower back injury. If you are not able to use heavy weights, find two medium-sized stones and hold one in each hand, as you would with dumbbells and squat with these. Try to squat as low as possible for the best results.
Enjoy the fresh air
Exercising outdoors can be a refreshing experience. You can choose to ride bikes to get a good cardio workout, look for park benches to use for a routine or even use the weight of your body during hill-sprints. There are endless options to choose from, and each one allows you to breathe in fresh air and benefit from the rays of the sun. Working out outdoors is a great way to spice up your exercise routine.