An outdoor workout gives you the benefit of exercising in an open air environment, savoring both fresh air and sunlight. Done at the right time, you also get healthy doses of Vitamin D through regulated sunlight exposure. Most outdoor workout routines also usually involve groups, so you get to enjoy the activity with the company of other people. There is also the visual benefit of outdoor surroundings that come with outdoor workout exercise.
It has been found that people who workout in the outdoors are generally less stressful people. A 2011 study also showed that those who exercised outdoors had a greater decease in tension, anger, confusion, and depression compared to those that worked out in a gym. Another study done in 2010 found that as little as five minutes of an outdoor workout was able to improve self-esteem and mood. Both reports were from the BBC.
Let’s take a look at some outdoor workout ideas that you can do anywhere and anytime.
Walking is still one of the best and the most natural exercise you can do. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, decent weather, a nice path or route, and off you go. Walking is also suitable for people of all ages, and for any fitness levels. Let’s see how to take a walk with fat burning results from askmen.com.
“Like any fitness program, the best place to start will depend on your current training status. In general, the higher the intensity of your activity, the better the health benefits and the more likely you’ll also experience fat loss (if that’s a goal of yours). If you’re just getting started, don’t be discouraged by the high-intensity recommendation. Start slowly. A beginner progression might look like:
Week 1: 15 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days
Week 2: 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days
Week 3: 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, 4-5 days
Week 4: 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days
Week 5: 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 4-5 days
Week 6: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 2-3 days; 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 2-3 days
Week 7: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 2-3 days; 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 1-2 days; 45 minutes at a comfortable pace, 1 day
Week 8: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 3-4 days; 30-45 minutes at a comfortable pace, 2-3 days
At that point, you should be ready to add in some higher-intensity work in the form of intervals. The two “on the road” ways to increase intensity during an interval are to pick up your speed or to walk up a hill. Move at your own pace, but the idea of interval training is to work at a higher intensity than you could for a sustained period of time, and then recover as much as possible during the rest interval.”
Jogging is also a great way to workout outdoors. Many people that jog stay with this exercise for life. Jogging also allows you to burn more calories since you will be moving at a faster pace than walking. It is also more efficient for fat burning because you are able to get your heart rate up in less time and sustain it there. Let’s take a look at a basic running/jogging guide from running.about.com. Of course, we are presuming you have gotten a green light from your physician, and you have invested in good running shoes and the proper running attire.
1. Week one: Walk for six minutes, then jog at an easy pace for one minute. Repeat three times. Aim for three sessions with that same sequence for week one.
2. Week two: Walk for five minutes, then jog for two minutes. Repeat three times. Aim to do three sessions in week two.
3. Week three: Walk for three minutes, then jog for four minutes. Repeat four times. Aim for three sessions in week three.
4. Week four: Walk for two minutes, then jog for five minutes. Repeat four times. Shoot for three of those sessions in week four.
5. Week five: Walk for two minutes, then jog for eight minutes. Repeat three times. Do three of those sessions in week five.
6. Week six: Walk for two minutes, then jog for nine minutes. Repeat three times. Try to do three sessions for week six.
7. Week seven: Walk for one minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat three times. Do three sessions this week.
8. Week eight: Congratulations on making it to week eight! For your first run this week, try walking for five minutes to begin and end the workout, and run for 20 minutes in between. By the end of the week, try to run for 30 minutes without stopping.
You can just about ride a bike anywhere and it is a 24/7 activity that does not cost much to undertake. Many sport activities are prohibitive in cost and require a myriad of equipment, memberships, and other costs. Most of us know how to ride a bike, so there really is no training required. As the saying goes, you never forget how to ride a bicycle. Other benefits to cycling are building of strength and muscle tone, stamina, cardiovascular fitness, improved coordination and decreased stress. Here are basic cycling tips from active.com.
1. Know your gears.
2. When shifting, plan ahead.
3. Learn to brake. The No. 1 rule of braking is to use both brakes evenly, particularly if you need to stop suddenly.
4. Look through turns. When heading into a turn, always look through the turn to where you want to go, rather than into the middle of it.
5. Lean your bike, not your body. As you head into the turn, push the handlebar that is closest to the inside of the turn slightly so that your arm straightens a bit.
6. Position yourself for the downhill. Keep your weight over your saddle on downhills.
7. Be smooth on the pedals. Think about turning circles with your pedals rather than pushing down on them.
8. Practice riding different terrain.
9. Be defensive in traffic. Always ride under the assumption that drivers don’t see you.
10. Consider clipless pedals. Clipless pedals (those without traditional “clips and straps”) use a cleat to affix your cycling shoe to the pedal.
4. Tai chi
Discover what the orient has been using for centuries to keep in shape and stay stress free. Tai chi is has been called “meditation in motion,” as well as “medication in motion.” “There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health,” According to the Harvard Medical School Website. Other benefits of Tai chi are muscle strength, flexibility, balance; aerobic conditioning and ofcourse, Tai chi would not be complete unless you did it in the open air as an outdoor workout. Here is a basic Tai chi session outdoors from Stephen Luff.
5. Outdoor Circuit Workout
If you want to bring on the intensity level, an outdoor circuit workout certainly is an option. Do this workout with hardly any rest in between routines, and you’ll have a fat blasting exercise while enjoying outdoors. Here is an excellent outdoor circuit workout video you can do alone or with some friends.
So why don’t you break the monotony of your gym habit, and get going on a fitness routine outdoors. Reap the many benefits open-air exercise can give you, and learn to savor your surroundings while getting in shape.