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Think Outside the Gym: Fun Ways to Exercise in the Great Outdoors

June 26, 2018
Published in: Fitness, Summer

man running through the woods and you can only see his legs

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and warm weather has finally arrived! Say goodbye to treadmills, stationary bikes, and indoor pools. It's time to change out the winter workout for some exercise in the great outdoors. Here are our top six favorite ways to get fit outside:

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Stand up pattle boarding combines elements of surfing and kayaking to create an awesome outdoor activity. SUP involves standing on a large long board and navigating calm water with a modified paddle.It may look easy, but this fun in the sun activity works every part of your body. It's especially great for your core and stability. SUP is versatile and can be done in any calm body of water. It's also perfect for people that want to enjoy a water sport other than swimming.

Trail Running

Tired of endless laps on a treadmill? Try trail running. Trail running is different because it involves more effort than running on a machine. Uneven terrain means your body is working harder, making each step count. Inclines require bursts of energy, while challenging footing engages balance. Not up for trail running quite yet? No problem. Hiking can give you amazing fitness benefits too.

Go Courtside

Baseball, soccer, football, basketball, and tennis are great ways to have fun and stay in shape. You can also use the court as your gym. Next time you find yourself courtside try this calorie-blasting routine:

  • Sprints: Run forward and jog backward from one end of the court to another. Try working up to 5 cycles.
  • Hops: Jump over and back along a court line while facing forward. Try for 30 hops.
  • Side shuffle: Side shuffle down the length of the court and back. Try to repeat this 6 times.

Walking

Walking makes our top six list because it's a great workout for all ages. It's easy on your joints while still burning calories. Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases. Walking sixty minutes, five days a week also helps you lose weight. The key is to add walking to your daily routine. Consider parking further away when running errands, walking on your lunch break, or taking your dog for an extra stroll.

Kayaking

Ready for adventure and a challenge? Try kayaking. Starting out you'll want to take a safety class to learn the fundamentals. You'll learn paddling techniques, how to roll your kayak, guidelines for reading the river, and safety maneuvers.Before you know it, you'll be enjoying this fun and scenic sport!Kayaking builds upper body strength, core strength, and increases flexibility.

Scavenger Hunt

Yes, you read that correctly.The age-old scavenger hunt can be used for fitness! In this version, you'll match activities to landmarks or items along your route. Every time you see the landmark or item, you'll complete a corresponding activity. For instance, you may do 10 squats every time you see a red car, or 10 push-ups when you see a park bench. Incorporating a game with your workout routine helps keep you focused and engaged.

Variety is important with any exercise routine.Think about adding outside activities to your fitness regimen. You can also substitute your indoor favorites like running, cycling, and swimming for their outdoor versions.As always, check with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine. Want more ideas and fitness tips? Check out Augusta Health Fitness. Our staff is happy to help you achieve your fitness goals. Contact us at (540) 932-5433.