My everyday ritual starts with a walk near my home as I love to get out early in the morning, soak in some Vitamin D and kick start my morning on a fit note! I was a gym fanatic before, but I don’t know why, I got bored midway. I dreaded the daily drill.
Okay, then it was on this day when I was on my morning prowl that I noticed something in the park nearby, a few fitness enthusiasts sweating it out together, it looked like a boot camp outdoor workout session. It looked quite the thing that I would love to do.
To cut a long story short, I didn’t just stop there gawking at them, I went right there and joined them from day 2! I just felt so good when I did functional training with people with whom I shared similar fitness goals. So are you hooked to this exercising outside thing? Great, because we are going to discuss just that in this article.
Benefits of Working Outside-Get out of the Gym
First things first, how many days have you spent in your life just looking out the window admiring the bright sunny day and started to feel productive and HAPPY? There is just something about nature that draws us towards it like a magnet. Connecting with nature spells a recipe for good health and greater well-being.
I know you are used to temperature-controlled ambience and hate to tear yourselves from your beloved gadgets. But trust me, it feels so good when you distance yourself away from the gadgets and gizmos and just focus on yourself. Now, you tell us, don’t you believe you deserve to indulge in some self-love? And you can do it minus the stress that comes with life in general.
WAIT! That’s not all, there are many more benefits of an outdoor gym for you to explore, and here are some of them.
- Say hello to stress-free life- There is something about your workplace that sucks you in a vortex of everything related to stress. You know, the office vibes, the chair, tables, the noise, your computer, sometimes you need to let go of the steam, and nature provides you just that. Get away from the artificial lighting and the artificial environment. The natural habitat is the best place to spend time in, especially when it comes to exercise.
- GET off the chair- Sitting is the new smoking, and you have got to move more. I know we are all suckers for comfort, but you know what? Human beings are meant to move more. So, move more and sit less, better still, move outside and walk around breathing in fresh air and soaking in sunlight. It can do wonders to your health and mental state of mind.
- Rejuvenate yourself- I do not know whether it is the same thing with you, but I feel sad and depressed if I do not go out for long and stay put inside a room .
Switching off from daily chores, doing mundane things like gazing at the sky, feeling the breeze caress your face and ruffling your hair or just watching the birds twitter in the trees, anything that can help reconnect with nature is great for your health. Indulging in outdoor training exercises is one sure shot way of rejuvenating yourself.
Take your Gym outside- Burn Those Calories with the Best Outdoor Workouts
So what are the exercises you can do outside your home? Don’t rack your brains, we will tell you how to burn those calories and not YAWN while you do it!
Whenever I browsed fitness videos on the net, I always loved the ones which were set outside;yoga on the beach, wow! Let’s get it straight, workouts and gorgeous weather go together famously, period.
- Outdoor bench workout- Among all those outdoor exercise ideas, working out near a park is the easiest. Find that bench, you won’t believe the number of super fun workouts you can pull off with your body-weight and a park bench.
- Walk your dogs- Believe me, it takes quite a bit of stamina to keep up with dogs, especially when you walk your neighbor’s dogs too! You get to sweat, and yes you have fun if you are a dog-lover like me.
- Tennis- Care for a game? Or for svelte, slim arms or some major calorie burn? If you care for all three, then it is time you indulged in a sweat fest called tennis, it’s exhilarating and does oodles of good to your competitive streak. So, game, set, match, amigos!
- Swimming- Are you a water baby? Well, me too! I am always ready for a bit of splish-splash in the cool waters and this is the only workout where you can feel the burn without feeling hot! Sweat-less yet effective, what’s not to like? It also strengthens your chest, back, arm, legs, and shoulders. Grab your swim suit guys and dash for the nearest pool!
- Cycling- Ditch your cars. Yes, you read that right, I have heard that a big part of the healthy Nordic lifestyle is using less of vehicles and reaching destinations on a cycle or on foot. And you know what they say about the Nordic lifestyle! It is also known as a disease-free lifestyle. Also, your legs, hips, and butt will be thankful to you. It’s a wonderful workout to tone em’ up!
- Running- Can’t leave this out, it feels so good to run early morning, venting out inner emotions and just burn some serious calories. You also get to build some strong bones, as running prevents osteoporosis.
- Playing the Frisbee- Relive your childhood moments by throwing the Frisbee. Now, that’s really great, you get to play and you burn calories, and it alsoworks out your chest, shoulders, arms, legs.
- Hiking- Hike your way to a slim, svelte body. When in doubt, just hike. When you do not want to indulge in heavy duty exercises, just hike; when you just want to breathe in fresh air, just hike. Also, you will be able to build strong, shapely legs in the process.
- Other sporting activities- Get out there and play some serious sports like golf, basketball, football and volleyball. Not only will you end up dripping in sweat, but will also raise the fun quotient several notches up.
Exercises to do when you are out in the Park
Make your own workout sessions with these fascinating sweat-inducing outdoor fitness exercises. It is not easy and it is going to challenge you every step of the way.
The Workout: This HIIT workout or high-intensity interval training sweat fest will help blast calories, boost your cardio capacity, work your core, your upper and lower body and also challenge your coordination and balance.
What you need to do is perform two rounds of the routine below, and while you do so, make sure you execute the moves at 70 percent of your maximum effort, for that you can conduct a test, you should not be able to utter more than a few words at a time, followed by a 15- to 45-second rest or active rest between each exercise and then a 1-minute recovery between each set. HIIT should be done two to three times per week.
1. Lateral Lunge
Make this a big part of your circuit training. This works your hips, glutes, and legs, and the grass outside challenges your core all the more.
Here is how you can nail it- Place your hands on your hips, pull your shoulders back and make sure you stand as tall as you can. Raise your left foot and take a side step to your left as you push your hips backward and lower your body by lowering your hips and also bending your left knee. Hold for a minute, then push yourself back to the initial position.
2. Squat Jumps
While squats by themselves area great exercise, squat jumps offer a more intensive version of the traditional squat, and will make you feel the burn in your quads. Learn how to do them below!
Here is how you can nail it-Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.Start by doing a regular squat, then bracing your core jump up explosively.When you land softly, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
3. Bench Dips
When it comes to challenging your triceps, bench dips are your best bet. Your body-weight offers enough resistance to challenge your workout. A park bench is all you need to do this workout.
Here is how you can nail it- Place yourself up on a bench and keep your torso perpendicular to the floor. This posture should be maintained throughout the exercise. Let the tops of your hands face directly forward. Bend your knees and slowly lower your body until your shoulder joints are right below your elbows. Propel yourself back up until your elbows are almost straight but not locked.
4. Side Plank
Side planks aren’t very easy to do and can work multiple muscles all at once. This move works not only the front of your body, but also the back, which includes your shoulders. A Win-win situation!
Here is how you can nail it: Lie on one side of the body, say your left side, keeping your knees straight. Push your upper body up, with your weight on your left elbow and forearm. Tighten your core by bracing your abs. Raise your hips in a way that your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold the position for some time and then switch on to the other side.
5. Side Skaters
Side skaters are amazing workouts for your legs and are a particularly great agility-building exercise, the very routine you can do in the park, without any equipment.
Here is how you can nail it, start with a small squat. Jump to the left, sideways, landing on your left leg. Then bring your right leg behind to your left ankle, but don’t let it touch the floor. Reverse the direction by jumping to the right, this time with your right leg. This completes one repetition.
When it comes to fat loss inducing workouts, burpees take the cake. It burns and it tones and it makes you feel you are not going to survive another minute. No wonder, they are so effective.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, let your arms be at your sides. Squat down low, placing your hands flat on the floor under shoulders, and then jump or step feet back into a plank position. Immediately jump back near your hands, and jump straight up from squat position, extending your arms overhead.
7. Jumping Jack
Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet out wide. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.
Here’s a sample workout you can try:
- 50 seconds JUMPING JACKS -10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds BURPEES -10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds PUSH UPS – 10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds SIDE PLANK – 10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds (other) SIDE PLANK -10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds BENCH DIPS – 10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds SIDE SKATERS – 10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds SQUAT JUMPS – 10 seconds rest
- 50 seconds LATERAL LUNGES – 10 seconds rest
Chop and change your everyday outside exercises to keep your body guessing. When there is so much you can add to your fitness regime, why should you be satisfied with plain, boring snooze-fests?
I used to find it so difficult to look forward to my gym sessions and I admit it made me cheat on my fitness regime! Not a good thing, right? But now the scenario has changed, now I feel I have to exercise for at least 5 to 6 days a week. It makes me feel so good, I guess the happy hormones have something to do about it! So, friends, are you willing to try outdoor fitness exercises? Let us know if you have and how they transformed you.Till then, stay fit and healthy!