Outdoor exercises to try this summer

With summer in full swing, we all want to soak up as much great weather as we can. Why not take advantage of everything the season has to offer by taking your fitness goals outdoors too?

If you want to exercise outside, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Use your bodyweight

Without the benefit of a gym full of weights, bodyweight exercises are your best bet for building strength. The advantage of a simple bodyweight workout is that it can be conducted anywhere, from a shady park to a sandy beach.

Try creating a 30-minute circuit of bodyweight exercises that work for you. To get started, incorporate squats and lunges to strengthen your lower body, push-ups for your upper body, planks to target your core, and mountain climbers for a little cardio. However, those basic moves are just the beginning. Search online for new and challenging exercises to add to your routine.

Use what you’ve got

For a more diverse workout, get creative with the equipment available at your local park. A bench is a surprisingly versatile piece of exercise equipment, with uses as a brace for tricep dips, split squats and much more. Is there a set of monkey bars nearby? Make them your pull-up bar or use them for hanging crunches.

Get out on the water

If you have access to a lake or pool, what better way to fit a workout into your summer? Consider taking up a water sport as a substitute for the gym—at least for a couple of months. 

Rowing is one of the most classic full-body workouts, incorporating upper body, lower body, core, and intense cardio. Prefer something a little more mellow? Stand-up paddleboarding is a challenging, but serene alternative that also targets multiple muscle groups.

And of course, you can’t go wrong with swimming. Low impact and high resistance, a short swim can be an intense and refreshing workout.

Join a class

If you require a little social pressure to get your workout in, this is the perfect time to take up a class outdoors. In many ways, an outdoor workout class is much more pleasant than an indoor version. Grass is lower impact than a hardwood floor, and you have the chance to enjoy nature while you exercise.

Look online to find workout classes at your local park. This year there are more than ever, so you are sure to find something that suits your personality and workout style, whether it’s yoga, martial arts, or Tai Chi. To provide added accountability (and fun!) invite a friend to join the class with you.

Hit the trails

You can’t go wrong with a fun summer hike. Pick a trail in the city or make a day of it by driving out to a provincial park. Looking for a little extra challenge? Make it a trail run! Nothing makes a tough run worthwhile quite like fresh air and a great view.

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