Fresh air workouts!

By on April 24, 2017

Spring and summer bring us the long awaited sunshine and warmer temps.  Not only does the nice weather improve our moods, but it can help improve our physical condition.  By taking your workout outdoors, you can maximize your training benefits by burning calories, improving cardio vascular function, absorbing essential Vitamin D, and making your spirit happier. Aside from walking or running outside there are other fun ways to take your workout outdoors.

Cycling – Bicycling can be a great low impact or high impact based on the trail you choose.  Choose one that is best for your condition.  Longer distance cycling can burn a lot of calories.

Beach runs/walks – We are very fortunate to live near Lake Ontario with some great beach options. Walking or running on the sand burns calories. Be sure to wear supportive running shoes, as the risk is higher to turn your ankle running on sand. Start slower than you would if you were running on pavement and work your way up as you get comfortable with the terrain.

Running stairs/bleachers – One of my personal favorites! Running or walking up the bleachers is a great way to torch calories and work your glutes and quads. Most high schools and area colleges have tracks with bleachers surrounding them.  Walk or jog a lap and then run up the bleachers a few times. Then repeat for desired exercise time. Be sure to walk down the bleacher for knee safety.

Uphill sprints – Another challenging but exciting cardio workout is uphill sprinting. This is similar to interval training with the high intensity sprints up and the heart rate slow down as you walk down the hill. To perform this, run up the hill then walk down the hill repeating the cycle until you reach your desired time of training.

Swimming – This form of cardio is often overlooked.  But if done at a higher intensity and longer duration, it can give you a good workout. Swimming at the lake, on vacation or in a good sized pool is a great way to get your cardio in on hot days and stay cool.  Start by swimming 15 minutes and add five minutes every week until you can reach 45 minutes straight.

Canoeing/rowing – If you like the rowing machine at the gym, you might enjoy canoeing or rowing outdoors. It’s a fun activity to do with a bigger group.  There are many local small marinas on inlets of the lake or the canal that offer canoe and rowboat rentals. It is especially good for anyone with knee issues as it’s primarily all upper body and still can get the heart rate up.

Tennis – If you’re someone who likes racket sports, tennis is a great option for burning up to 600 calories an hour.  It’s also a good upper body workout.

Beach volleyball – Another fun beach activity that can count for exercise! This activity is more stop and go, so it’s great for someone looking for a less intensive cardio workout.

Hiking – If running is not your thing, take it to the trails. You can still get a good workout especially on a longer hike or using hills. You can burn calories and work those calf muscles.

Jump roping – Last but not least, this is my personal favorite.  Purchase an inexpensive jump rope from an area store that sells sporting goods.  Be sure to jump on a wood floor like a deck for less impact on the joints.  Try jumping in small blocks of rotations like 50 rotations times five cycles and work your way up to 100 rotations, 10 times. After each set, take a short break to let your heart rate come down. This entire workout should only take about 30 minutes but will scorch up to 500 calories as well as really work the legs, arms and shoulder muscles.

Freshen up your workout by taking it outdoors. The fresh air, sunshine and nature are sure to improve your mind and body.

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