Outdoor activities are my favorite workouts. If you cringe at the thought of being without air conditioning or detest bugs, dirt, and sweat, then this post is not for you.
If you like adventure and would rather be outside on a beautiful day enjoying your natural surroundings, then this article is for you! And can we be friends? 🙂
Getting in shape doesn’t have to be about going to a gym and using a piece of large machinery, in a room that smells like bleach. It’s great to take a break from your usual fitness class or gym session to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. When exercising outdoors, you will use your muscles in different ways, ways you could never work in a gym.
Some people think rock climbing is all about the upper body but that is far from true. Rock climbing involves muscles from your entire body to maintain balance and control. You will use muscles you never even knew you had! If you want to practice before hitting up the real rocks, find a local indoor climbing gym. In my experience, the people at the climbing gyms are very friendly and will get you ready for the great outdoors. Make friends with the regulars and they will teach you all about bouldering, belaying, lead-climbing etc.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 420
Can be done on a river, lake, or ocean. Kayaks can be rented or bought. A BIG upper body workout, especially on a windy day! No gym equipment or class can replicate the environment and muscles used when kayaking, so you will get an upper-body workout like no other.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 340
Standing up on the board requires ab strength to maintain balance, as well us upper body strength to paddle yourself along the water. The rougher the surf, the harder it is. A great way to explore the water and shorelines. You can rent or buy paddleboards.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 400
Find a preservation area, State Park, or National Park in your area and start exploring! There are never-ending marked and unmarked trails that are ready to be hiked. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose a trail length and terrain level. Visit this site to find some trails near you.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 490
A fun way to get outdoors and explore your neighbor. Rollerblades can be inexpensive and they don’t take long to learn, just a little balance required.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 720
Whether it’s snow or water skiing, it’s a great workout! Take lessons for the first time or become an expert and join a ski team.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 340
A huge world-wide treasure hunt! You will search for hidden treasures and get to explore a new area. If you have never tried it before, you should check it out. No strenuous exercise involved but some geocache finds involve some hiking, climbing, or even swimming. There may be a geocache hidden right in your neighborhood. Read about geocaching here.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 200
This may be a big stretch out of your comfort zone but I wanted you to know that it’s an option! Mostly male dominated, this sport is all about overcoming any obstacle with movement. It’s about finding a way over, through, or around a physical obstacle. Stay open-minded as you watch this video demonstrating Parkour. While this demonstration is done outdoors, Parkour (also called free running) indoor gyms are beginning to pop up!
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 690
Owning a nice mountain bike is expensive, but if you live by some good mountain biking trails, this could be a great exercise adventure that’s worth it. Or, if you’re like me you try and use your beach cruiser as a mountain bike! Mountain biking has many health benefits, and it’s fun!
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 500
Limited to those who live by the ocean, surfing requires endurance, strength, and balance.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 210
It’s like an outdoor elliptical bike that moves you! You can actually use it as transportation if you’d like, or just an outdoor adventure to explore a new area. It’s a great cardio workout that is also low impact! Once thing I hate about using an elliptical at the gym is how bored I get! How awesome would it be to be able to take the elliptical outdoors? Problem solved.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 620
Unless you have some good tunes playing or a lot of thoughts to sort through, walking is the most fun with a friend, or two. Make it a social gathering and you won’t realize how far you’ve gone! Start a walking club or check out the AVA website to find a walking club near you. For added intensity, walk uphill or on an uneven terrain.
Calories burned per 60 minutes: 220
Exercising outdoors doesn’t really feel like exercising because it’s FUN! If you are getting bored of your usual gym routine OR you are trying to find a workout you can stick with, getting outdoors may be the answer.