As a trainer and fitness model in Miami, I know a little bit about sun, fun and long summer days, and I absolutely love taking advantage of outdoor workouts. When I train outside, my workout always seems to be more fulfilling and I have much more energy. It’s like being outdoors in nature gives me the extra boost I need to get the most out of my workout.
It’s not just me, either! Did you know that being in nature has been scientifically proven to boost both your mental and physical well-being? An open-air sweat session will help get your body and spirit in check, with no equipment needed.
Whether you’re gearing up for summer or live somewhere that’s perpetually warm, I want to encourage all of you to take your sweat sessions outside. Find a beach, a lake, or a park nearby and embrace Mother Nature with open (flexed) arms.
4 Ways to Embrace Outdoor Workouts
If you’ve never taken your workout session outdoors, then you may be wondering where to start. No problem, I’ve got you covered. Here are my favorite ways to work out outside.
1. Practice Yoga Sun Salutations
Bring a yoga mat to the park or beach to flow your way to fit. Feel the sun on your face and the ocean breeze tickling your body as you move from pose to pose. If you don’t have a yoga sequence memorized, simply bring your phone or tablet and find a YouTube video like this or this one to help guide you. You can also opt to practice right on the sand for added, core-strengthening stability training.
Why Outdoor Yoga Is Good For You
Benefits of outdoor yoga are extensive. When outdoors, your senses are heightened and this can allow for a deeper sense of relaxation and meditation. You might find it difficult to focus at first, but give it a try and you’ll se how quickly you block everything out.
Also, it’s an opportunity to explore and be in the moment. You may find a beautiful spot in the park, overlooking a lake or you might find your way to the beach with the wind in your face and the sound of waves crashing against the shore.
2. Use Nearby Items to Intensify Your Workout
A bench or picnic table may look innocent enough, but either one can really take your workout to the next level. Use the incline to your advantage by using it either for tricep dips or step-ups during a HIIT session or during a barre workout for balance and stability.
There are a variety of workouts that you can do just on playground equipment at your local park. Consider using body weight or exercise bands on monkey bars or a jungle gym. Try running the bleachers at your local little league field, or even bracing against a fence for your outdoor workout.
3. Make a Splash by Swimming for Fitness
Swimming is one of the best low-impact forms of exercise you can do. You can increase your cardiovascular endurance by swimming for distance, but you can also increase your strength by using water for resistance training. One of the hardest shoots I have ever done was this pool-workout.
Try Canoeing or Kayaking for your Aquatic Workout
You may not be interested in swimming, but that shouldn’t stop you from still enjoying water-based activities. Many kayak and paddle board enthusiasts are taking to the water in increasing numbers and it doesn’t take long to figure out why.
Make sure you adequately prepare for your paddle trip by having proper hydration, personal life jacket/flotation device and knowledge of the area. (Sunscreen and bug spray also recommended.)
4. Develop Strength in the Sand
Like water, sand adds resistance and challenges your stability. Start on wet sand for a firm and more stable base and work your way up to dry sand as your strength and endurance increases. Make sure the sand is as level as possible and wear protective gear if the sand is hot.
Sand training has been known to improve speed and agility by providing resistance challenges in unfamiliar ways to your muscles. This constant shifting helps promote stabilizer muscle strengthening.
Types of Exercises for Sand Workouts:
- Squat jumps
- Deadlift (bring a bucket and fill with sand)
That’s It! Now Aren’t You Ready to Get Outside?
Step outside the gym or studio and let your city be your playground. All you need is yourself, some sunshine, and a place to move that beautiful body of yours. Get out in that fresh air and embrace a new way to exercise!