There was once a time in most of our lives that our parents sent us outside to play in the morning, and didn’t see us again until the street lights came on. We spent the days running and biking around the neighborhood, climbing on playgrounds, and playing games like kickball and tag with our friends. We enjoyed the benefits of physical activity and getting all of that fresh air and vitamin D without even realizing it!
Unfortunately, many of us spend less and less time outdoors as we get older, and lose our connection to nature. Spending time in nature benefits both our physical and mental wellbeing. It can help reduce stress levels, improve cognitive function, boost your mood, and can even lower blood pressure and reduce muscle tension. To make the most of your time outdoors, why not pair it with your exercise routine to boost your fitness motivation and get you excited about exercising again? Here are some fun ways to incorporate nature into your fitness routine so you can reap all of the benefits of this dynamic combination!
Perhaps the simplest workout you can do outside is going for a brisk walk. Although walking is a very basic form of exercise, its benefits should not be understated! It is low-impact which means it’s easy on the joints, can be done virtually anywhere, helps prevent a myriad of health conditions, and can help you maintain a healthy weight with no equipment and no complicated routines.
Yoga is another great low-impact exercise that can be done using little to no equipment, even when space is limited. You can take your yoga practice outdoors by setting up a blanket or mat in your backyard, at a local park, the beach, or an open field. Choosing a serene outdoor setting will elevate your yoga practice by providing soothing nature sounds, fresh air, and will help you feel more grounded and connected to the earth.
For enhanced cardiovascular health, weight management, and improved joint mobility, hop on a bike and ride around just as you did when you were a kid! Cycling is a great form of exercise because it can also double as a mode of transportation around town. If you live in an area that is cyclist-friendly, you can opt for a bike ride to grab coffee with a friend or to run a quick errand rather than driving your car if the weather permits.
What better way to enjoy beautiful landscapes and scenery than to go for a nature hike? Hiking offers all of the benefits of walking, along with other advantages such as building muscle mass, strengthening your core, and creating more definition in your legs. You’ll reap all of these health benefits as you also enjoy other perks such as stumbling upon natural treasures such as lakes, cliffs, wildlife, and spectacular views.
If you’re looking to build muscle and strength, you can easily take your bodyweight exercises outdoors! Squats, lunges, calf raises, push-ups, and planks can all be done virtually anywhere without having to haul around heavy weights and other equipment. You can exercise alone, or bring a friend or two along to enjoy nature, good company, and a great workout.
We all know how important it is to create a sustainable fitness routine. Sometimes working out in a stuffy gym or in the confines of your home can really put a damper on your motivation. To combat this, choose a fun, simple exercise that can be done outdoors so you can enjoy the sun and fresh air as you achieve your fitness goals!