People are becoming more and more aware of the importance of fitness and exercise. Whether inside or outdoors, you'll see people working to get and stay healthy.
Outdoor exercise is a particularly good way to improve your health and enjoy life at the same time!
Gyms are a wonderful asset to people who can afford them, and for people who have the discipline to keep coming back after they've paid their membership dues.
Home gyms are effective ways to work out for people with lots of space and money. Sports and organized activities are a good way for social types to take care of their health while they are "seeing" and "being seen."
But what about those who live simply - who are happy playing with their kids or their dog, who don't need or want the structure of a gym, who can't afford expensive equipment, who can't work out and talk at the same time, and who don't like competition.
Exercising outdoors is a fun, simple way to keep fit and enjoy nature. Outdoor exercise doesn't cost much. It doesn't require a lot of preparation. And it is a healthy lifestyle choice for anyone.
Among the many benefits of outdoor exercise are:
- you can do it without equipment.
- You don't have to mess with crowded gyms and obnoxious people
- You don't have to make a long trip to get there.
- You can breathe fresh air and feel the wind in your hair.
- You don't have to pay a membership fee or make a down-payment
- You don't have to wear makeup.
- You do get lots of sunshine and vitamin D for health bones and skin.
- You can do it anytime, anywhere you want to
Having established that outdoor exercise is a great way to stay fit and enjoy a healthy life, you might be wondering what to do when you get outside.
Here are seven popular outdoor exercises that will give you a good work out and leave you feeling sweaty, exhausted, and absolutely great!
Great for your upper body, push-ups also have many variations, including standard, wide, and close grips. They're a perfect outdoor exercise, and if you rotate the three movements, you'll work more muscle groups and get a better result.
For easier motion, elevate your hands. For more resistance, elevate your feet. If you're really brave, try clapping your hands as you bounce.
Start with your back and knees straight and parallel to the ground. Slowly lower your body until your nose touches the ground and then return to your starting position with a quick upward press.
Repeat as many times as you can without over-stressing.
A wonderful outdoor exercise, this is a great way to work your bottom and hamstrings, lunges come in many different variations. This is the basic drop-knee style.
Stand with your feet about three feet apart with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
Bend your knees and lower back toward the ground, making sure your heel is flat to the ground and your knees are directly over the center of your feet.
Here's 32 Lunge variations to keep things interesting from Greatist.
Keep your upper body straight as you push through the front heel and return to the starting position. Don't lock your knees. Just repeat in a flowing motion.
Squatting is one of the best ways to get that perfect body shape you crave for. Very easy to do for outdoor exercise, if they're done the right way, squats have tremendous power.
If done improperly, they're less effective. Squats also have many variations - standing, one leg, wide-stance, pile, and overhead. As you do repetitions, you'll feel your legs getting tired. This is a good thing.
They're great for developing your hips, butt, and thighs. Stand evenly with your feet apart. Keep your back straight and your stomach in. Your knees should be just behind your toes.
We must never confuse squats with lunges. Fitwire shows us the clear difference between the two.
Squat to the height of a chair, and squeeze your butt as you stand. Repeat. For more vigorous exercise, hold weights in your hands as you squat.
Done properly, this can be a brutal outdoor exercise. You can use a bench as your equipment. All you have to do is step up and down, being sure to hold your head up and your back straight.
Stand behind the platform (weights in hand for more power). Put your right foot on the bench, transferring your weight to the heel as you come into the step.
Use your right leg only, using your left leg for balance.
Slowly step back. Repeat this at least 10 times with your right leg before switching to the left.
5. Uphill Sprints
Only people who can do a 100-meter dash should try this one. The essential outdoor exercise, all you have to do is find a hillside, and run up it as fast as you can.
Walk down and repeat.
Also known as pull-ups. You can use a tree branch or playground equipment. Grab your pull-up bar with an overhand grip.
Your grip should be just wider than your shoulders. Left your body upward as high as you can, and return gently (don't fall) to your starting position.
Repeat the movement as many times as you can. This outdoor exercise will get the sweat going!
7. Duck Walks
For the un-embarrassed! Simple, but hard, this outdoor exercise will give you strong legs and endurance.
Simply squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Walk in that position about ten steps, and then return. Repeat as much as you can (probably won't be much!).
Doing outdoor exercise is a good workout. If done properly, these outdoor exercises will give you benefits as good, as not better, than you'll get in the fanciest gym in town using the most expensive equipment on the floor.
Outdoor exercise also lets you remember how great it is to be outside, rain or shine, breathing fresh air and listening to the birds sing.
So, go to it! Try some outdoor exercise now!