Not everyone can afford a home gym or enjoys going to the local gym multiple times a week. Some gyms are packed full of people no matter what day or time you go and finding a free machine can be daunting!
If you’ve struggled with home or local gyms, it may be time to consider some different options for cardio.
Read on to learn our top 5 best outdoor exercises and skip the gym entirely! You’ll be enjoying the fresh air as well as losing weight and building muscle.
Hill-sprint workouts are one of the most effective ways to get your heart pounding. Hill sprints are one example of a HIIT workout or high-intensity interval training. HIIT is all about expending a lot of energy in short, intense bursts, then taking a brief break before beginning again.
These workouts are popular because they only take a small amount of time to complete. Plus, they’re some of the most efficient workouts when it comes to burning fat.
For hill sprints, you’ll want to begin by warming up with a light run of at least five minutes. After you’re warmed up, find the nearest hill and sprint up it. You’ll walk back down the hill each time as an active resting time, then sprint back up using more effort.
2. Distance Running
The opposite of HIIT training, distance running still has numerous benefits if you’re more of a fan of a slow and steady pace. Even better, you can use the time when you’re running to meditate and focus on your breath, the sound of your feet against the asphalt, or reflect on the day ahead in a healthy way.
It’s important to start at your own pace and, each day, try to run a little bit faster or further. For instance, when you first start running you may run for three minutes and walk for two. The next day or week, you can increase that to running for five minutes and walking for one minute.
It helps to have a goal in mind. This can be:
- Running the local 5k race
- Running for 30 minutes at a time
- Running a full mile
Remember that weight loss isn’t a great goal. This is because it’s easy to get discouraged as your weight naturally fluctuates daily and weekly. Instead, you’ll want to focus on the systems.
If you’re not a fan of running or sprinting, bicycling can be a great alternative option. Bicycling can help you travel further for longer so that you’re not bored with your current route.
Warm up at an easy pace for five to ten minutes, then steadily increase your pace. Pay attention to the hills that you come to on your route.
Spend some time riding up them as quickly as possible, then coasting down for a rest period before doing it then. Once you’re finished, make sure to cool down at an easy pace.
Just like walking or running, keep track of your route, the time it took to complete, and the intensity of your cycling. Try and increase your pace or distance each day! Another great reason to take up biking is that it’s great for exercising with friends.
4. Stadium Stairs
If you’re looking for a high-intensity workout that challenges you and gives you full-body workouts, look no further than your local stadium’s stairs. Running up and downstairs is the fastest way to get your heart pounding and the calories burning.
See if your local stadium is accessible. You may also find stairs at your local park, parking garage, or public monument. These are all places accessible to the public, and you can typically find space to run without bumping into anyone else.
Outdoor stair workouts are all about starting with single steps and then skipping a step. First, warm up by walking up single steps, then switch to skipping every other step. You’ll then start running up single steps and then switching to skipping every other one.
You can also try jumping up the steps by getting into a squat form and swinging your arms back. As you extend your legs, swing your arms out in front of you as you jump to the next step.
5. Park Bench
Last but not least, remember that you can utilize benches that you find at your local park. By using your own body weight, this is an effective replacement for dumbbells at a home gym depending on your weekly workout schedule. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Stand near the bench with your hands on your hips. Plant one foot on the bench and extend the same leg till you’re standing on the bench with your legs next to one another. Then, reverse the movement till you’re standing on the ground again.
In a squat position, bend your knees and lean your torso forward as your hips tip backward. For leverage, swing your arms from back to front as you extend your legs and jump up onto the bench. Remember to start by jumping onto a shorter object if you’re not sure you can make it!
Sit on the edge of the bench with your hands gripping the edge of the bench on either side of your hips. Then, slide yourself off the bench with your hands still gripping the edge as you lower your hips to the ground. When your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, return to your starting position. This exercise will help strengthen your triceps.
The Best Outdoor Exercises for Fresh Air and Peak Health
Our best outdoor exercises help keep both your mind and body engaged as you work out. You can enjoy the fresh air and explore your local area while working out at the same time.
Remember to take photos of your workout progress to stay motivated, as it’s often hard to recognize your own progress from day to day! You can also recover deleted pictures on iPhone or Android.
Ready for more workout tips to get you in shape? Keep reading our blog for more tips!