One of the greatest things about fitness and exercise is the scalability and flexibility of the subject. From yoga to sky diving, exercise is exercise, and this means that as individuals, we can engage in activities that are great for us in a whole host of exciting ways.
Whilst we can’t deny that weightlifting is a pretty huge area of interest in the fitness community – engaging in reps and sets isn’t the only way to get in your daily exercise, and this is especially the case if you’re looking to explore the great outdoors.
We love hiking. In the morning for sunrise, at lunch time or in the evening for sunset, whether you opt for the beach, the countryside or your nearest National Park (for those lucky enough to live near them), a hike is a great way to get outdoors, get your daily steps in and explore.
Don’t be put off the word ‘hike’… this doesn’t have to be a 4-hour expedition. A hike can be something as simple as a walk around your local woods – just get out and explore somewhere you haven’t been before.
Whatever you want to do, outdoor exercises like hikes could include a 5k walk, a 10k hike or a 25k exploration, it’s all personal preference! As the saying goes, you do you.
The benefits of walking and hiking are pretty impressive too, if you didn’t know:
- Ups your immune system
- Reduces your overall stress levels
- Lowers the risk of heart diseases
- Improves your mood
- Regulates your blood sugar levels
This is perhaps the first outdoor workout with no equipment that comes to mind, right? The benefits of running are endless – and if you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know that we love to rave on and on (and on) about them.
Here’s some of our favourite benefits one more time, for good measure…
- Helps build strength
- Increases bone strength
- Ups your cardiovascular fitness
- Increases your muscle mass
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Improves your stamina
If you’re going to be running outside, we recommend you stick to soft ground such as grass and woodland. Running on hard surfaces such as concrete can lead to knee and back injuries, and we want to avoid that at all costs.
3. Beach Yoga
Think yoga… but on a beach. Sounds good, right?
Whether you’re a complete novice or a fully-fledged Yoga instructor, the beauty of yoga is that anyone can get involved, and it’s a great way to get outdoors, engage your muscle groups and destress. Check out the twelve basic yoga poses to get you started...
- The Headstand
- The Shoulder Stand
- The Plough
- The Fish
- The Sitting Forward Bend
- The Cobra
- The Locust
- The Bow
- The Half Spinal Twist
- The Crow
- The Standing Forward Bend
- The Triangle
If you’re not familiar with these, check out The Best Yoga Poses For Beginners for the low down. And what better place to do this than on the beach?
If land isn’t your thing – how about water sports? Whether you’ve got access to an outdoor swimming pool or fancy your chances at wild swimming (which we wholeheartedly recommend), swimming is a great way to tone up and increase your stamina, as well as toning muscles.
If you didn’t already know, swimming is a form of cardio – so similarly to running, this exercise harbours the same benefits. Aside from this, though, cold water swimming has been seen to have great mental health benefits, with some pretty neat physical benefits too, including greater lung capacity and improved skin.
Pssst… we were so curious about this, that we dedicated a piece on the benefits of turning down the temperature – so be sure to check it out.
There you have it… no reps, no equipment, no problem. All you need to get yourself exercising outdoors is a little bit of inspiration, motivation and a good playlist, (of course). If you’re looking for ways to switch it up and get out and about this summer, try the tips above, get stuck in and try something new.
As we’ve shown, the outdoor exercise benefits are endless – and we want you to start reaping these ASAP. Both your physical and mental health need to be maintained and taken care of and having no equipment or no gym membership is no excuse.