The endless health benefits of daily exercise need no new emphasis, but workout day in and day out in the gym using the same equipment can get a bit boring and tiresome at times. And therefore, fitness experts associate more importance to outdoor workouts and outdoor activities which helps in cutting out the monotony of exercise. Outdoor workouts are much more entertaining and adventurous compared to gym workout sessions because these exercises take advantage of the natural terrains, hills, woods and water bodies to get you into shape. Even the simple work of raking leaves in your backyard can be considered a moderate physical activity that can burn up to 250 calories in an hour.
Benefits of Outdoor Exercises and Activities
Outdoor workouts are an enjoyable activity for men, women and children alike. Exercising outside while enjoying the beauty of nature and breathing fresh air helps you to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Good For the Body – The open space along with the uneven landforms such as hills and terrains provide great resistance during intensity workout and provides amazing aerobic, muscular and cardiovascular fitness. Outdoor workouts also enhance the functioning of the immune system.
Fulfilling for the Mind – The psychological benefits of outdoor recreational activities is numerous. It helps in reducing stress, depression and anxiety, improves confidence and self-esteem, and increases the sense of exhilaration along with a feeling of adventure and challenge from life.
Better Sleep – Working out close to nature helps in soothing the mind and the body so that you can enjoy deeper, longer and more restful sleep. A night of restful sleep helps you in staying more alert and energized the following day and also enhances concentration and memory.
Better Social Life – Outdoor activities offers you the opportunity of mixing and interacting with like-minded people and engaging in productive work so that you don’t feel lonely and left alone.
10 Entertaining Outdoor Workouts for a Fit Body
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air while working your body at the same time is a good idea to relieve the dullness of gym workout sessions. Here we have listed 10 of the most fun-filled outdoor activities for a fit and healthy body.
Tennis is one of the best high-intensity workouts that can be enjoyed outdoor with your pal and it also helps in breaking the monotony of one-dimensional gym workouts. An hour in the game and you can lose up to 544 calories. In addition, the constant movement of the limbs helps in toning the arms, shoulders and back muscles. It is undoubtedly the sport of the lifetime that enhances aerobic fitness and promotes fat burning. It also enhances anaerobic fitness by increasing the capacity of the muscles to use oxygen.
It increases leg strength and speed along with general body coordination. Being a physically demanding sports activity it works extremely well for cross-training purposes. This intensity workout also improves bone strength and reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.
What better way to fight the flab and energize yourself that with an hour of swimming? It is an amazing outdoor workout that burns up to 476 calories every hour. It is a total body workout that strengthens the arms, chest, abs, back, legs and shoulders. It is a low impact exercise that can be used to build muscles and increase the size of the biceps and triceps.
Being an HIIT workout, it keeps the heart rate up and improves cardiovascular health. It enhances endurance and muscle strength while maintaining a healthy weight. The vigorous strokes and freestyle moves tones the muscles and provides over-all workout to all the major muscle groups of the body.
Cycling is a fun and entertaining way to burn calories and stay in shape. An hour of medium paced cycling can burn up to 476 calories while toning your legs, butt and hips at the same time. It is one of the most effective outdoor workouts that engage all the major muscles of the body. Being low impact, it reduces the chances of strain and injuries and unlike other sports; it does not require any elevated level of physical skill.
Cycling boosts up the metabolic rate and promotes the body to burn more fat. Regular cycling promotes blood circulation through the heart and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. 30 minutes of cycling per day lowers the risk of diabetes by 40%.
Summer is knocking at the door and it is time to get out and hit the beach with friends. Beach volleyball is one of the best HIIT exercises that can burn up to 544 calories per hour. The powerful serves help in toning the arms, chest, abs and legs effectively. The sandy surface provides a lot of resistance and it requires a lot of power to move through the sand which helps in burning additional calories. The intense moves of the game tones the core muscles, glutes, thighs and calves without putting strain on the joints.
It is a full body workout that involves all the muscles of the body. The game also enhances flexibility and physical agility that reduces the chances of injuries and falls.
What better way to enjoy the beauty of nature and get a fit and toned body than going on hiking trip with friends or family. It is best to begin with short, local trails and then gradually work up to trails with woods, uneven terrains and hills. An hour of hiking can blast 442 calories per hour while building strong and toned legs. The movement of the legs by digging into the ground and then pushing the body up and forward works the muscles of the upper body and act as an effective high-intensity cardio workout.
Hiking uphill pumps up the heart rate and helps in burning extra calories. Daily hiking increases bone density and slows down bone erosion. It relieves anxiety, stress and depression and promotes quality sleep.
Rowing is an amazing recreational workout that can be enjoyed if you have easy access to a water body. Forget the rowing machine at the gym and do the real thing. It is a killer workout that works all the muscles of the body and burns up to 340 calories per hour. The resistance provided by the water helps in toning the arms and strengthening the back muscles.
It is one of the low-impact HIIT workouts that are done in a fluid motion thereby reducing the stress on the joints like knees and elbows. The large range of motion involved in the strokes helps in increasing flexibility and agility.
Take a break from running on the treadmill and hit to road to enjoy an intense and fulfilling session of jogging. It is one of the most effective outdoor exercises that are often included in high-intensity interval training workouts in order to enhance aerobic fitness. It is best to begin with brisk walking as a form of warm-up and the gradually pick up the pace in a few months. People can burn around 140 calories for each mile of jogging which makes it one of the best exercises for losing weight in the long run. Then there is the after burn effect of jogging by virtue of which you will continue to burn additional calories for the next 48 hours after your jogging session.
It is one of the best aerobic exercises that improve overall health by enhancing cardiovascular health, preventing hypertension and reducing the risk of developing heart diseases.
Play a round or two of golf regularly in order to stay fit, tone your muscles and lose body fat and excess weight. An hour of golf can burn 306 calories and the powerful strokes work your arms, shoulders, abs and back. Golf is an entertaining low impact sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Walking up and down the course and playing in a nine-hole course burns a lot of calories in a leisurely manner. It provides a good workout to the heart and the lungs and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Walking around in the green field and interacting with fellow players helps in alleviating stress, depression and anxiety and promotes happiness and well-being.
Frisbee is another traditional beach game that burns 204 calories per hour and the jumping and tossing helps in toning the arms, shoulders, chest, abs and legs. This makes it a total body workout that strengthens the muscles by using up energy. Constant back and forth running tones and slims down the leg muscles while the throwing reinforces the arms, abs and back.
It is a power-packed high-intensity interval training workout that boosts up the metabolic rate and enhances tolerance to the burn. The workout reduces stress and boosts the mood by promoting the release of happy hormone endorphins.
Jumping ropes is one of the forgotten cardio exercises that promotes weight loss and enhances cardiovascular fitness. 30 minutes of jumping rope exercise can burn approximately 300 calories. Jumping rope exercise is an amazing way to tone the muscles of the lower body including the buttocks and thighs.
An intense session of jumping ropes causes micro tears in the muscles of the legs and the repair of these tears will help in developing stronger, larger and more toned muscles. Skipping ropes also help in increasing cardiovascular fitness by enhancing the ability of the heart and the arteries.
Safety Tips of Exercising Outdoors
Working out in the midst of nature while breathing in fresh air is the best way to break the monotony of exercising in the gym. But there are a few safety tips that should be followed for outdoor exercises.
- Carrying water or a sports drink – Don’t forget to carry your water bottle with you when working out in the sun. It the exercises schedule is longer than one hour then it is better to carry a sports drink in order to replenish the electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during the workout.
- Planning the Diet – If you need to work out in the hot weather then eat complex carbohydrates that will turn the sugar into glycogen and allow the body to retain water.
- Wearing the Right Clothes – Working out in the sun can be a tricky affair when it comes to your clothes. It is best to wear polyester fabrics in dark shades that will allow your skin to breath. You can also opt for sportswear with sunscreen treated fabrics.
- Get Accustomed to the Outside Temperature – Most of us are used to work out in the gym in controlled temperature. But working out in the sun is a completely different thing. Therefore, it is suggested to get accustomed to the temperature gradually by starting with lighter exercises or training early in the morning or during evening. You might need to drink more water if you feel dizzy or get a headache.
- Choose the Right Shoes – Understand that your gym shoes are not good enough for a hike or a run. You will need to use trail runner shoes with plenty of support and padding if you are hitting the rocky pathways.
So, now that you know about a wide range of fun-filled outdoor activities that you can do to enhance fitness, choose the one that you enjoy the most and get busy with it.