Top outdoor summer workouts

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It’s no secret that part of living a healthy lifestyle is engaging in regular physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. This can include gardening, housework or walking around the block in addition to actual exercise. Now that the temperatures are climbing and the sun is shining, it can be fun to take your workout outdoors. This keeps things interesting, helps you avoid fitness plateaus and offers new challenges with the changing seasons.

Here are some of the best options for outdoor workouts:

Swimming: When the sun is shining and hot, there’s nothing more refreshing than diving into a cool pool. Swimming is an excellent cardio workout, but it also helps strengthen your muscles in both your legs and upper body. You can do laps of  various strokes, from crawl stroke to backstroke or breast-stroke to target different parts of the body while improving heart strength and enjoying being outdoors.

Kayaking: While it may not seem like a traditional workout, paddling a kayak offers a great strengthening opportunity. You have to sit tall with good posture, so you core muscles must be engaged and working. Additionally, to get going, you must row through the water, which really works your upper body muscles.

Hiking: If you prefer walking as your cardio exercise, you might have spent the cold weather months on a treadmill. This is a great option for when it’s too chilly outside, but now that it’s nice out, pair your walk with some great scenery! Head to a local nature preserve and hike along a trail. The different terrain will make you work harder, and the surrounding natural beauty is sure to put a smile on your face.

Outdoor bootcamp: Amp up a walk or jog around the park by creating an outdoor bootcamp routine. Fixtures like benches, steps and playgrounds provide all you need for bodyweight strength exercises. Monkey bars are great for pull ups, and benches make the perfect tricep dip equipment and steps offer a way to enhance lunges. Have fun and get creative with modifying traditional bodyweight exercises using the whole park.

Whatever workout you do, be sure to warm up before and cool down after to avoid sore muscles and injuries. It’s always a good idea to stretch post-exercise, and if muscles feel tight you can work them out with a personal massager.

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