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5 Outdoor Activities to Keep You Fit This Summer

5 Outdoor Activities to Keep You Fit This Summer
Jamie Haleva
Community User9 months ago
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The sun is out and summer is almost here, which means it's time to get outdoors. For those of us who have been training indoors throughout the year, summer presents the perfect opportunity to change up your routine and incorporate outdoor activities to get your exercise in. There are plenty of creative ways to get physical activity outdoors. Here are our top five that will help you stay fit, and have a blast while doing so this summer.

1. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for many reasons. The activity is a form of resistance training, with the water providing resistance as you move forward. Like other forms of resistance training, swimming will help you build muscle. Swimming is a great full-body workout as it involves the use of virtually every muscle group including gluteals, latissimus dorsi (back), deltoids, biceps, triceps, pecs, quads, hamstrings, and calves. For this reason, swimming is a great choice for those looking to obtain a lean physique- aka the "swimmer's body". Swimming is also a low-impact exercise as it puts less strain on the joints and bones, making it perfect for beginners or those who want a lower-impact workout.

With swimming, there are various types of strokes and movements you can practice to increase your skill level and endurance, so you'll never run out of ways to change up your routine. While you can swim indoors in the winter, swimming makes for an enjoyable outdoor activity in the summer months and is a fun way to get your body moving and build muscle tone.

Keep in mind that swimming is not considered an intense form of resistance training in of itself. So if you're looking to make significant gains, you may want to incorporate other forms of resistance training, like weight training, as well.

2. Outdoor Yoga

You are probably familiar with the various benefits that yoga has to offer, for both physical and mental health. But as summer approaches, outdoor yoga will recommence as a challenging and rewarding form of exercise. Yoga is touted as not only a great workout, but a meditative and enlightening experience. The activity is beneficial for cardiovascular health and was shown to lower blood pressure in those with hypertension. Yoga has also been shown to improve endurance, strength, and flexibility.

With summer approaching, a great way to get into yoga is outdoor yoga. Outdoor yoga involves practicing yoga in an outdoor setting. Some common types of outdoor yoga are beach yoga and park yoga. You can likely find beach yoga classes available in any location with a beach, such as Miami Beach or the Jersey Shore. In places like New York City, outdoor yoga classes are available in parks such as Central Park and Bryant Park. Doing yoga outdoors can enhance some of the activity's benefits such as de-stressing and calming the body. Spending time in nature has been shown to decrease stress levels and anxiety, enhance immune function, and improve mood.

Thus, performing yoga outdoors will only amplify the soothing effects of this form of exercise. Plus, it provides a beautiful backdrop to get your exercise in.

3. Biking

If you want to get outside for your training, another great option is biking or cycling. Bike riding is an excellent form of cardio and is another low-impact workout that will work most of the body's major muscle groups.

Biking is known as an easier form of exercise as it does not require advanced skills. The activity is a great way for beginners to get their bodies moving and can be a fun outdoor form of exercise to do by yourself or in a group. Biking is often done in parks or through trails so that riders can have appealing scenery to take in while exercising. Whether you're in a city or suburb this summer, biking around town can be a great way to get your exercise in while getting from one location to the next.

Plus, if done consistently, biking can have great benefits for the body including improved strength and joint mobility, lowered stress levels, and improved posture and coordination.

4. & 5. Hiking & Trail Running

Two final outdoor activities that are must-tries this summer are hiking and trail running. Hiking is a fantastic way to enjoy nature and spend time outdoors while getting physical activity. It may seem simple, but walking uphill through long trails can provide a great cardio workout, improving your strength and balance. Hiking also provides many unique health benefits including improved sleep and reduced anxiety and depression. Summer is the perfect time to try out hiking as the weather warms up and nature is at its finest.

If you want an even more intense workout, you can try trail running. Trail running is essentially the same activity as hiking, except you run through the trail instead of walking it. Trail running is perfect for those already familiar with hiking who want to advance their skills. Trail running is considered an endurance sport, and provides a beautiful backdrop for runners to pass through while moving. Studies have shown that moving on uneven ground requires greater muscle use and coordination compared to moving on firmer and flatter terrain. Thus, even more so than hiking, trail running will help improve strength and balance, while adding resistance to your workout.

The US is home to many beautiful hiking trails like Yellowstone National Park or Yosemite National Park, but you don't need to go far to get a good hike in. Many states offer local trails that are free to the public to walk through and enjoy nature.


Take Home Message

All in all, there are plenty of outdoor activities to try in the warm weather that will help you enhance your fitness level while providing additional health benefits. Enjoy the sun and fresh air and get outside for your workouts this summer, your body will thank you.

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Jamie Haleva
Community User
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A Rutgers University Honors graduate, Jamie grew up on the Jersey shore and double majored in Comparative Literature and Anthropology in college. Jamie is an experienced writer in the health and wellness, biotech, and eCommerce fields. She loves writing with a purpose and has even written for the Department of Justice.

Jamie became drawn to exercise during her time in university and began to notice the physical and mental benefits of moving your body daily. Today, Jamie enjoys Pilates, light weight training, and going on long walks in nature daily.

Jamie is also passionate about eating right and prioritizing gut health and immunity. She is always trying the next innovation in health and wellness. When she’s not writing articles, Jamie enjoys reading, playing guitar, and finding dogs to play with.