You might be searching to exercise outside for a variety of reasons.
- You are sick and tired of sitting in the gym and need to switch up your environment.
- Your gym is closed for a week for cleaning (This has happened to me on multiple occasions).
- Between 12-3 your gym is wall-to-wall packed and you’re looking to avoid it.
- You’re at your lake house, camping, or on vacation and cannot get to the gym.
- It’s simply too BEAUTIFUL outside and you don’t want to waste the day away.
I guarantee almost everyone has experienced something similar to this.
What’s the fix? Of course, you still want to exercise, just not in your gym. Not today!
Look outdoors for your next way to exercise. There are so many ways that you can utilize the outdoors for exercise purposes
If it is a beautiful day on the lake, the water appears to be calm as glass and the wind is at the perfect speed for comfort, YOU BETTER ENJOY IT!
Follow along for 6 different ways on how to exercise outside.
Rent or Buy A Kayak
You read this right, I said rent a kayak! Or, if you know someone that has a kayak ask them if you can borrow!
If you love kayaking, just go buy one yourself! It can be an incredible exercise tool while allowing you the peace and tranquility of floating in nature.
Now, what are the health benefits?
- Burn Calories- In just 30 minutes of kayaking you can burn around 210 calories! Of course this doesn’t mean just sitting in a kayak on a lake will help you lose weight. This is 30 minutes of paddling.
- Work Your Muscles- When you kayak you work a lot of upper body muscles! Specifically, you will work shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, and varying back muscles. This all depends on form, but these muscle groups are typical.
- Cardio- Kayaking can turn into a cardio session if you push yourself hard enough. Then, you’d even burn more than 210 calories in 30 minutes! If you really push yourself and use this as a cardio exercise, your heart rate will rise and your body will thank you!
- Tranquility- Have you ever kayaked in a calm lake during the sunset? This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the sun going down. It is proved to lower stress levels and put you in a wonderful state of tranquility. You will feel at one with nature. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU AT LEAST TRY THIS ONCE.
What Will You Need?
Kayaking really can be a fun and beautiful experience. Don’t think you’re selling your exercise short for the day because with enough effort you can get a solid workout in.
You definitely don’t need to live in the mountains in order to hike (although it would help).
I live around forested areas that have a few glacier made bluffs, cliffs, and hills.
Some cliffs are quite high in elevation and make a very exciting couple hours to hike there. Nature is the World’s special gift to us all. It’s beauty is important for us to enjoy at least once a week. I try to venture off into the forest or up the bluffs as often as I can.
This type of exercise can replace your 20-30 minute cardio session for the day for it’s health benefits.
What are the health benefits?
- LEG DAY- If you go hiking up a bluff, hill, or through the forest you will be giving yourself a leg day! This will exercise your quads, glutes, calves, and more. Especially if it is an uphill hike!
- Cardio- If you hike hills or bluffs for 60 minutes carrying up to 10lbs, you will burn around 600 calories. Likewise, if you do the same exercise while carrying 10-20 lbs, you will burn around 615 calories. This may differ for everyone because nobody’s body reacts the same way to exercise. Consider that this is the amount of calories burned for hiking in an uphill direction.
- When hiking, I highly recommend using a hiking pack and bringing a lunch to enjoy with a friend! You can pack some weights in your pack to help turn this into a more intense cardio session.
- Blood Pressure and Heart Disease- According to webmd.com, hiking will also help your blood pressure and help your chances of avoiding heart disease!
What Will You Need?
In order to hike, you could really do this with any type of comfortable clothing and shoes that you already own. However, depending on where you hike, it could be important to have hiking boots and a hiking backpack.
Hiking has many benefits and would be a wonderful way to spend the day in nature instead of in the gym.
If you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you can even perform some simple body exercises at the top of your hike.
The biggest benefit of all hasn’t even been mentioned yet!
If you hike up a bluff to a cliff, you will have BEAUTIFUL views. The bluff I climb looks over a lake, rolling farm fields, and a city. I could sit and stare for hours.
Rollerblade Your Neighborhood
Not only is this a great idea for a date (you’re welcome), it is a decent exercise as well. Many people roller blade because it’s just a fun thing to do!
Grab a friend or a date and hit the road!
- Burn Calories- In 30 minutes of rollerblading at a decent intensity, you can burn around 295 calories! The best part is, you’re burning calories while having fun outside.
- Leg day- Rollerblading will also work your glutes, quads, calves, and more as it has heavy focus on the legs! This is a great way to tone these muscle groups.
- Cardio- Depending on your body type, rollerblading can be a great workout to get your heart rate moving! I recommend using a heart rate monitor or a fitness tracker to keep track of this.
- Doesn’t poorly effect your joints or legs- Another great benefit, is that rollerblading will not put high stress on your legs or knees. If you have poor joints or sore knees, you likely will be just fine rollerblading if you keep yourself at a low to moderate intensity level.
What Will You Need?
You will want to buy a certified helmet and possible even protective guards to make sure you don’t get hurt. You can go pretty quick on roller blades and a fall could cause injury.
If you have never been roller blading before, I highly recommend you give this a try. It provides you with a solid exercise, a lot of fun, and gives you a new date idea besides getting ice cream!
Downhill Skiing (Winter)
This exercise is for those that live in climates that allow all four seasons like mine. Or, if you live somewhere that is constantly cold and snowy.
Downhill skiing has quickly become one of my favorite sports and my favorite exercise over the last few years. Skiing is easy to learn, gets your adrenalin pumping, and is a huge thrill.
Health benefits of downhill skiing-
- Burn Calories- This was a shock to me. According to many sources, you can burn 400-500 calories an hour moderately downhill skiing. When I go skiing, I am out there for hours at a time depending on how cold it is. Time goes by extremely quick when you’re on the hill.
- Leg Day- Through the many maneuvers you will pull on skiis, such as carving and edging, you will surely be using your leg muscles in order to control your skiis. You definitely should stretch out before you go!
- Cardio- Downhill skiing gets the heart rate up and blood flowing! By carving the snow and maneuvering around the hill, you will be sweating. It is not just a straight shot downhill!
What Will You Need?
If you haven’t going skiing before, you can rent from a ski hill, or you can buy your own.
You also will want snow pants, a winter jacket, winter gloves, a winter hat, a helmet AND ski goggles.
Ski goggles can be a lot of fun as they come in different colors and can change your viewing perspective. Personally, I use a yellow to orange tint because it always looks like the sun is rising or setting and is a happy feel!
As downhill skiing is my favorite activity, you should really give this a try. This is a great way to skip the cardio and legs in the gym because you will get a good workout in.
Which Outdoor Exercise Will You Try?
By now, I hope you have at least one outdoor exercise in mind that you would love to try!
The goal here is to avoid the same routine of sitting in the gym, and getting fit by using the natural environment around us.
Don’t think that kayaking, hiking, rollerblading, or downhill skiing are the only activities you can enjoy outdoors to get fit. There are a ton of different ways to exercise outside. You just have to be creative!
- What outdoor exercise are you going to try?
- What outdoor exercise do you enjoy that is not listed here?
Please share your thoughts and comments below!
Thanks for reading and get outside,
Founder of myshakercup.com
Hi Russell I couldn't agree more. Exercise outside is powerful. Gyms are great but the combination of the fresh air, sunlight, and hopefully a natural setting can do wonders beyond the physical exertion. This was a good reminder to get my butt away from my computer and get outside today and do something. Thanks for a great article.
Good alternatives for gym. Exercising outside is a great way to mingle with nature and also it is fun.
Really like the ideas. I live in India and there are hills where I can go hiking. really liked your writing style.
Hiking sounds like fun. I will start exercising and I also do intermittent fasting. Do you think I can lose fat effectively with hiking while doing intermittent fasting?
If you hike, use intermittent fasting, and make sure you eat in a calorie deficit, then you can effectively lose fat. In fact, it would probably happen pretty quickly. Take a look at the category "nutritional tips" as to read information on how to set up a proper diet! Let me know if this doesn't answer your question! Russell Founder of myshakercup.com
There are some good forms of outside exercise you have included in this article. I like the information you have put down on each one, its interesting to see the guide of how many calories can be burned off.