When the winter wind is blowing, it’s easy to make excuses to stay inside. And while there are plenty of wonderful ways to exercise indoors, getting sunshine and fresh air while you sweat is the perfect change of pace. So, when the sun peeks out and the snow melts away—take your workout outside!
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to get your heart rate up, that go beyond taking a long walk in the park. Changing your routine forces you to get creative and activate muscles that might normally get missed. Enjoy!
Game. Set. Match: Sand Volleyball
Cardio, agility, and fun with your friends? Yes, please! Sand volleyball is an awesome way to get your body moving while working on a team. Look for sand volleyball courts at many local parks, college campuses, or a beach if you have one nearby. Snag a ball, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready to sweat. Jumping in the sand provides an additional strength challenge that you might not be used to. Your calf muscles will activate as you jump and dive in the soft sand. Get ready to improve your hand-eye coordination and increase your cardio endurance, too! 😆
Core and more: Paddleboard Pilates
You’ve likely heard of paddleboarding—an amazing way to explore a variety of waterways. But if you really want to up the ante, add the core strengthening benefits of Pilates. Pilates is an awesome, no-impact exercise that helps with your balance while lengthening your muscles. Not into standing up on a wobbly board? You can do Pilates exercises while lying down on the board (such as bridges and lower abdominal leg drops). For a stronger back, try coming into tabletop on your hands and knees. If you aren’t afraid to wobble, stand up and incorporate some yoga, too!
Get in the swing: Outdoor Tennis
Ready to ramp things up? Grab your racket and hit the tennis courts for an awesome stress-releasing workout. This one is perfect for playing “singles” by yourself or “doubles” in teams of two. Like volleyball, you’ll build cardio endurance, agility, hand-eye coordination, and more, minus the sand. You’ll love the intensity of the game as you hustle across the court ready to slam the tennis ball over the net as hard as you can (while keeping inbounds, of course)! Find outdoor courts at local parks or at nearby rec centers.
Get to stepping: Amphitheatre Stairs
If you have a sports stadium with public access (think college football arenas), or an outdoor amphitheater nearby, you’ll appreciate the glute burn from both climbing and descending bleachers. While stair-stepping equipment can get pretty dull inside a gym, outside there are a ton of fun ways to mix up your routine while enjoying the benefits of an intense quad, glute, and calf muscle burn. Think beyond the bleachers as you also incorporate squats, leg extensions, triceps dips, and more.
Let the chirping of birds overhead remind you of how fun (and beneficial) it can be to exercise outside. Whichever fitness format you decide to try, you’ll have an awesome time soaking up the rays, changing up the routine, and enjoying exercise outside.