Summer certainly has a way of jump-starting new health kicks and encouraging an active lifestyle. Why sit inside when you could be running, swimming, and hiking? Besides the obvious health benefits, finding active outdoor hobbies can seriously impact your mood. “Heading out into nature for a workout forces you to focus on your own breath and body,” explains Ely Khakshouri, founder and CEO of Westridge Outdoors. “You go at your pace, push yourself when you can, and hold off when you can’t. It results in a better workout overall,” he says.
Nature can also create additional obstacles that wouldn’t face in a typical gym setting. “Nature is variable and unpredictable,” says Khakshouri. Unexpected changes and weather can thwart a typical workout, but they can also allow you to work new muscles and be more in the moment. Not sure where to begin? Be inspired by these 10 outdoor workouts that will serve as a welcome break from your standard gym routine.
1. Go for a run outside. It’s so much more entertaining than running on a treadmill, and you’ll be able to listen to your body instead of focusing solely on your time and pace.
2. Try stand up paddleboarding to work your arms and core. Take it one step further and sign up for a SUP yoga class.
3. Enjoy a bit of ’80s nostalgia and go rollerblading.
4. Take your yoga practice to the beach, a park, or even a rooftop.
5. Sign up for a day of horseback riding. Even though it seems like the horse is doing all of the hard work, you’ll have to engage your core, quads, hamstrings, glutes to stay on.
6. Play a round of golf. Bonus points if you carry your own clubs.
7. Find a friend with a boat and go sailing. By the time your return to shore, you’ll have gotten in a workout without even realizing it.
8. Head to a track for circuit training.
9. Take a dip in the ocean. You don’t have to swim for miles to get your heart pumping.
10. Give skateboarding a try. It might feel silly at first, but it takes some serious leg strength to keep propelling yourself forward.