By Evonne Varady |
How do you celebrate Earth Day? With outdoor workouts, you can enjoy both fresh air and fitness, of course!
Welcome to your new gym. It is open 24 hours and the membership is free. Mother Nature may not provide all the equipment you need to get your train on, but with some tweaks and some creativity, you can take your training from the dungeon gym into the sunshine! Not only are outdoor workouts great for your mental health, they also have great physical benefits that can make you a better athlete. Training on uneven terrains like the road, sand, or field requires more body control and balance, and it activates more joints and muscles than working out on even, indoor surfaces.
A long run becomes much more interesting if you’re on a trail avoiding tree roots, rocks, barking dogs, and small children. Outdoor workouts also provide new challenges for your mind and body—it’s difficult to get bored if you’re always doing something new.
There are plenty of outdoor, calorie-burning activities you can do. Today, unplug from your tech-laden lifestyle with these fun workout ideas.
1. The Park Outdoor Workout
A nearby park is the perfect location to get in a workout session. Parks offer multiple opportunities to perform resistance work while also enhancing your cardio. Park equipment tests your balance and agility, so if you play sports, the benefits will transfer over.
Make sure to start each workout with a brief 5-minute warm-up of some light jogging and end with a 5-minute cool-down of stretching and deep breathing.
Find a bench: single leg squat 12 reps each leg, incline push-ups 12 reps, dips 12 reps, step ups 12 reps each leg, V sit-ups 12 reps, leg raises 12 reps. Complete circuit 3x.
2. The Beach Outdoor Workout
Sand: It’s nature’s resistance. The nice thing about the beach is that you can reap great strength gains without having to use as much external weight. Plus, the shifting sand makes for a more engaged lower-body outdoor workout.
The following beach workout combines both strengthening movements and cardiovascular conditioning to get you lean in a hurry. As tempting as it is to go barefoot, make sure that you wear supportive footwear while doing this workout to lessen the chance of twisting an ankle.
Do each move below for 30 seconds:
Run at a fast pace.
Side shuffle with right foot leading.
Side shuffle with left foot leading.
Run backward. Repeat 4x. Add more challenge by staying in the soft sand.
3. The Trail Outdoor Workout
Head out to the trails and take in the fresh scenery during another excellent opportunity to get an effective workout while also taking a break from the hectic pace of everyday life. Liven up your run and burn more calories by slogging up inclines, crossing creeks, and hopping over stones and twigs. Listen to your body throughout the workout. Push hard enough to get a good workout without exhausting yourself before the session ends.
Live life fitter!
Evonne Varady is co-owner of Clean Eatz Cafe located on Racine Dr. in Wilmington, NC. From being too skinny, to being overweight, to placing first in the North Carolina State Show, she has been through most of it. In 2013, She and her husband opened Clean Eatz to create a cafe that supports any healthy commitment.