As monsoon comes to an end and autumn approaches, you can put your fitness goals on the radar by exercising in the open. Gyms are not the only go-to fitness option. You can stay active while spending time outdoors, individually or in a group.
Although people prefer working out in a gym because of the readily available equipment and gym instructors, an indoor facility is a climate-controlled environment. Exercising outdoors has numerous benefits. It puts you in direct contact with sunlight. Your brain releases higher levels of serotonin when you work out on a bright sunny day and acts as a natural mood stabilizer. Working out in the sunlight also increases your vitamin D intake. When you exercise outdoors, you breathe in cleaner and fresher air. Your body works harder to adjust to the changing terrain during an outdoor exercise than when you do an indoor workout. You also tend to burn more calories this way.
Here are some unique ideas for outdoor exercises you can try to stay fit.
- Roller-skating: Roller skating is an exciting way to take your workout outdoors and be active. Skating has minimal surface friction compared to the ground contact of walking or running. This activity requires you to stay stable on the roller skates and work your lower body muscles. However, take precautions to avoid injuries by wearing safety gear and skating on approved paths.
- Bicycling: Cycling outdoors increases your cardiovascular fitness. It exercises your lower body, improves joint mobility, increases muscle strength, and helps reduce fat. Use bicycle paths that are away from automobile traffic. Wear protective gear and helmets for optimal safety.
- Hiking: No matter the trail surface, hiking outdoors is a whole-body exercise. Hiking is a weight-bearing workout, that is, your bones and muscles work harder against gravity, further making your body maintain bone density.
- Walk-run interval: Run to a point and monitor your heartbeat and breathing rate. Make a note of when you start running out of breath. Walk until your breathing is in control. Practice this for a few days. Over time, you will be able to run faster and longer distances. This is a great exercise to control your breathing and improve your lung function. You are more likely to recover quickly when you run out of breath. These are indicators that your fitness level is improving.
- Rock-climbing: One of the benefits of rock climbing as an outdoor activity is that it exercises both your upper and lower body. You strengthen your back muscles and arms when you pull yourself up and engage your core, quads, and calves while stabilizing your body. You also increase your range of motion and flexibility. Rock climbing is a problem-solving activity that improves the function of your brain.
While working out at home or a gym is a regular affair, try exercising outdoors and experience the joy it brings.