Summer may be over but for many, the weather is still warm enough to be outdoors. The slight chill of autumn air is almost like the air conditioning in the gym, as well as an excuse to wear that new, warm workout apparel you’ve been dying to show off. The outdoors provides a lot of opportunities to get a great workout, alone or with friends!
Outdoor workouts have a lot of positive effects. Studies have shown that outdoor time is good for our health in many ways, both physical and mental. Taking in that fresh air helps circulate oxygen and blood around the body, which brings with it a myriad of benefits such as more vitality, reduced stress, and clearer and more creative thinking. However, the outdoors also gives us a little something extra, in that contact with nature tends to boost our mood and give us more motivation. With that in mind, here are a few ways to get a great workout outside!
Go to the Beach
Just going to the beach is a great workout, since maneuvering through all that sand builds muscle and if the water is warm enough and the beach has lifeguards, you can go swimming. An added plus is that some beaches also sponsor fitness activities. “Yoga on the beach” is very popular, and some beaches have weight benches, volleyball nets, and equipment you can rent to build those muscles and get that blood pumping!
Jog Around Town
Jogging has a lot of great benefits. You can do it anywhere, and don’t need equipment other than yourself. It improves cardio health, reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, and can even help you unwind from daily stress. Local parks have jogging trails, and people also like to jog on the beach for the added challenge of the sand. Many people just jog in their own neighbourhood, which is what makes it such a versatile outdoor workout!
Hit the Trails Hiking
While it may seem slower than jogging, hiking is just as effective because it involves dealing with and overcoming various types of terrain, especially when one has access to hills or mountains. Even forest terrain can be a challenging hike, though. Since much hiking takes place over long distances and in varies climates, there are a lot of extras, such as carrying a pack or weathering the cold, that many other workouts do not have. However, all that time with nature and friends (it’s advised to hike in groups) can create great memories that last long after the hike is over!
Ride a Bike
Bicycling is seen by some as a mode of transportation, others as a sport, and still others as a leisure activity, but it is still a great workout for everyone. People in suburbs and rural areas have great opportunities for distance riding, but even people living in or touring in cities can take advantage of bicycles as a form of outdoor exercise. Many cities, such as Miami, partner with companies that offer bicycles for rent at stations around town, so everyone can spend time on a bike!
Walk Your Dog
One thing all the rest of the workouts have in common is that they can be done with dogs as workout partners. Just walking your dog is good exercise, but when you have a breed that requires a lot of action, the sky’s the limit for outdoor workouts! Take your dog on a hike, a jog in the park, or along on your bike ride. Whether playing Frisbee, running around at the beach, or even luxuriating at a dog park, having a canine companion can make your workout even more fun!
Don’t let the chill of autumn keep you indoors this season. The fresh air and exposure to nature can enhance your workout and ultimately your health. Go outside, have fun, and stay fit!