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Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

8 Ways to Stay in Shape While Enjoying the Outdoors

Dreading the continuous, yet stationary strides on the treadmill? Break your standard workouts with fun activities that will give you the results of a workout, while you enjoy the outdoors! Get back to nature with these 8 outdoor activities that won’t feel like your typical trip to the gym!


Dreading the continuous, yet stationary strides on the treadmill? Or the crowded weight room at the gym? Break standard, traditional workouts with fun ways to exercise outdoors! An outdoor workout can be just as effective, if not more, as an indoor workout. Get back to nature with these 8 outdoor workouts!

8 Fun Ways to Exercise Outside

1. Hiking

Hit the scenic routes with a hike! Hiking the great outdoors offers solidarity while promoting aerobic exercise. With hills and high altitudes generally present, the legs can also get in a solid workout without dealing with weights! Feeling adventurous? Check out these suggested great American hiking trails.

2. Kayaking

Paddling through water can be so calming that you may not even realize you are getting in a solid workout! Enjoyed as a hobby or competitively, both kayaking and canoeing offer strength training to the all upper body muscles along with some in the lower body. Additionally, four hours of kayaking can burn an average of 1,600 calories! But besides staying in shape, spending hours rowing in the great outdoors can reduce stress and promote mental health.

3. Paddle Boarding

Similar to kayaking, paddle boarding requires a paddle to maneuver through water – but instead of sitting down in a kayak, you are standing atop of the board. Standing tall and balancing on a paddle board requires activation of the body's essential muscles. And like kayaking, steering through the water requires arm motions to manipulate the paddle. Paddle boarding is a full-body workout that further supports stability and improves posture.

4. Sand Volleyball

Get competitive with a game of sand volleyball! This fun workout will not feel like one as you get competitive and active with a large group of friends and family. In addition to volleyball, participate in your favorite group sports such as tennis, basketball and softball.

5. Biking

Skip out on the stationary bike and get to peddling in the great outdoors! Whether on trails, to a park, or making it a point to ride to work, biking is an excellent aerobic exercise along with leg-training workout. Seek out hills for an even greater and intense outdoor workout!

6. Swimming

Grab a suit and head to your favorite swimming spot! Swimming not only burns hundreds of calories, but targets muscle groups throughout the entire body. Swimming helps to tone and build strength without stressful impacts of weights, as the water is gentle on joints and muscles. This low-impact, fun workout can compliment or replace laps in the water while still offering health benefits.

7. Walking

Tie up your favorite walking shoes and go! Walking can be accomplished almost anywhere without any additional equipment. These 21 proven health benefits of walking are convincing within themselves!

8. Playground Workouts

Skip the indoor gym and head to a park for an outdoor workout! Full-body workouts can be completed utilizing some of the offered playground equipment – no need to pack and lug around any of your gear! Additionally, playing on the gym equipment can be reminiscent of childhood memories. For a complete playground workout, click here.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on September 05, 2016. Updated on May 07, 2019.


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