Now that the winter has ended (Game of Thrones, anyone?) and spring is in full bloom, you no longer have an excuse to stay indoors. Spring is the ideal time of the year for shedding the gains acquired while hibernating in the winter months. It’s time to sculpt your physique for the summer that’s just around the corner. Outdoor activities are better for staying fit than going to the gym, which tends to get repetitive and boring after time.
Outdoor exercise can not only improve your mood and relieve stress, but also helps regulate your blood pressure. Outdoor activities provide you with serotonin and endorphin boost by moving in nature and being around other people.
So, skip the tedious gym routine, and focus on outdoor fitness instead. There are several exciting outdoor sports and activities that can help you whip back into shape for the coming summer.
Some of these sports and activities are:
Cycling is a highly beneficial outdoor activity that you can also adopt as a sport in the form of cross-country mountain biking. For starters, it is a great activity that helps you work your hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Cycling also helps in improving your heart condition and promotes a healthy blood pressure. In addition, cycling is a non-weight-bearing sport, which makes it ideal for people who experience joint pain or suffer from any injury.
If you want to take up cycling as a sport, you must invest in a cross-country mountain bike, preferably one of Jenson USA. Why? Because JensonUSA offers cross country mountain bikes from top brands with discounted deals on the best mountain bikes you could find.
Hiking can be a peaceful walk in nature, done at a leisure pace, or you could turn it into an intensive workout if you are trying to lose weight or tone your body. Hiking helps in toning your lower body as you climb and make your way through the trail, and if you use poles while hiking, it can also tone your upper body.
Hence, hiking is a great cardio exercise that can also promote better blood flow and bone density throughout the body. Apart from that, hiking will give you a serotonin boost as you spend time in nature away from the bustle of city life and traffic.
Swimming is a great full-body workout. It is low-impact, which means it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your muscles as you swim your way through the water. This makes it the ideal activity to engage in as you are recovering from an injury, are a beginner, have muscle pain, or even lack sufficient stamina.
During swimming, the resistance provided by the water and waves strengthens your muscles as they work against the water to propel you forward, making you leaner in the process. Moreover, swimming also helps stretch your body and improves body flexibility.
In addition to all this, swimming is a great activity if you are looking to simply relax and improve your mental well-being. Just floating in water helps in dulling the senses, which allows calmness to wash over you. Moreover, the rhythmic body movements and breathing patterns also create a meditative effect. Take a dip in the swimming pool or the beach frequently to tone up your muscles and body.
If you are not looking to get your heart rate by performing any strenuous exercise, then you can opt for the stability and peace of yoga practice. While yoga is typically performed within the confines of yoga centers and homes, outdoor yoga has plenty of additional benefits.
Yoga is a mind-body workout, and it helps you reap all the benefits of spending your time outdoors. Deep breathing in fresh air while maintaining a yoga pose can help lower your blood pressure, improve your immune system, and reduce stress drastically.
Hence, if you want to enjoy an hour or two of peace and quiet in the outdoors, take your yoga mat with you.
5. Jogging or running
Jogging helps in improving stamina and is a great workout for your lungs and heart. Apart from that, if you are trying to shed some extra pounds, jogging or running on a regular basis can help you achieve the goal a lot quicker than simply walking.
However, you shouldn’t push yourself from the beginning, as going overboard with running on your first day can put a lot of stress on the knees, hips, ankles, and other joints. So, ease into it, and gradually increase your distance or time by only 10% every week.
A study from Duke University in 1999 claims that jogging can be on par with medication when it comes to treating depression in people.
6. Hit the basketball court
Outdoor activities aren’t only limited to exercising, as playing any sport, such as basketball can be beneficial. In fact, playing basketball is the ideal full-body workout. When you are jumping and shooting hoops, you train your thighs, core, and calves, while building a killer full-body stamina.
When you are dribbling the ball on the court, it improves overall body and hand-to-eye coordination. Hence, when you’re outside, invite a couple of friends over to the court to play a basketball game.
7. Take up a new hobby
There are a lot of fun hobbies that incorporate some aspects of fitness as well. For example, you can take up dancing as a hobby. May it be tap dancing, hip-hop, ballet, or salsa, all of these dances are cardio workouts that you can do along with a partner, in a group, or alone.
Apart from that, roller skating or blading is an easier and stress-free alternative to jogging. It doesn’t put as much stress on your joints but helps in burning a lot of calories.
The outdoor activity you will choose in the end will be determined by the kind of outdoors you have access to in your area. For people who are near the hills, hiking is the perfect activity to get yourself into shape, but for others who might live near a body of water, swimming would be the obvious choice.