Nature is the best medicine, so it’s no wonder that outdoor exercising has been touted as one of the healthiest ways to get your blood pumping. Outdoor exercising or green exercise is a great way to get in a little nature therapy by improving your body and mind.
Whether it’s running in a forest or biking on dirt roads, there are many types of nature workouts you can do depending on what kind of physical activity and state of mind you find most therapeutic. No matter where your fitness level may lie–you’re sure to reap some benefits from just being active and outside.
There are many ways that you can use nature to your advantage. If you think about it, the land around you is your own personal jungle gym! Right now, you may be asking yourself: ‘Where do I even begin?’ but the answer is that nature is everywhere, and there isn’t just one place to start.
If the only thing holding you back from exercising outdoors is thinking about what activity to do, don’t worry because it doesn’t matter what age you are or your skill level. Outdoor green exercise can consist of walking your dog, taking a stroll through a nearby park, or even playing Pokémon Go.
Outdoor Exercise Ideas for Beginners:
If you are a beginner or looking for a way to start exercising again but don’t want to sign up at the gym, try these outdoor exercises. They can be done with minimal equipment and take as little as five minutes.
1. Walking outdoors around your neighborhood or a nearby trail
Walking is an easy exercise that doesn’t require any fancy equipment. It’s also good for both your body and mind because it increases blood flow which means more oxygen goes where it needs to go in your body.
2. Outdoor yoga classes
Yoga is a gentle exercise that has many benefits, including improving balance, reducing stress levels, releasing endorphins, and increasing flexibility. By using yoga in nature, we are surrounded by our most powerful senses and exposed to pure oxygen, relieving us of built-up tension and everyday life.
3. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise
Time to take advantage of the local outdoor pools, lakes, and beaches. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise designed for everyone but swimming in nature provides extra benefits for your mood and stress levels.
4. Find an easy hiking trail
Hiking is an excellent way to get the exercise you need in a more natural setting. Choose appropriate paths for your fitness level so that you can enjoy all nature has to offer without overdoing it! State and National parks offer hiking trails that provide a nice break from your regular gym workouts, providing both cardio and lower-body workout benefits depending on what terrain you explore.
5. Dust off that bike
Bicycling is an amazing way to exercise and have fun. You can burn calories while having the time of your life on two wheels but remember that you need to be smart when it comes to safety by wearing a helmet and paying attention to where you are going.
Outdoor Ideas for Average Fitness Levels
If you’re bored with your gym routine, why not try working out in nature? You’ll feel refreshed and energized after a workout in the fresh air. Green exercise also boosts your mental health to get outdoors and away from technology. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Try roller skating
Strap on your rollerblades and enjoy a nice, smooth path. Skating provides low-impact cardio and a full-body workout. Such a fun way to burn a lot of calories, tone up, and de-stress in nature.
2. Trail running
Trail running is an exciting way to get outside and enjoy nature. It provides a change of scenery from the typical road or track, and it also offers more challenges than those other types of runs. There’s no telling what you’ll find on the trail. You might encounter hills, rocks, trees – even wildlife.
Unlike road running, which has more of an impact on your joints and bones, trail running typically puts less stress on these areas because it’s softer than pavement. This kind of activity can also help improve your balance and coordination as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness level.
Do you love a little competition? Whether it’s competing with yourself or friends, just being in the outdoors exercising is an exhilarating experience. Natural obstacles just make things more fun. Nature can be your biggest ally when it comes to getting fit and staying healthy.
Spend the day in the sun with some good friends and playful competition! Whether it be mountain biking, beach volleyball, or hiking, sports of any kind are a great way to get your heart going.
4. Trail Riding
Take your bike to the trail for more of an exciting biking experience! The random intervals and inclines are sure to make your exercise routine more enjoyable. Riding on a trail bike is a great way to get exercise while having fun. With the right gear, it’s safe and easy for anyone who can ride a bicycle. The feeling of being in nature with all your senses open is an experience like no other.
5. Strength Training
Strength training in nature is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Strength training outside can be done using just your own body weight like pull-ups, dips, and push-ups. Whether it be stretching, lunges, or burpees, take the chance and use nature’s natural obstacles. Get creative and use benches, rocks, hills, and trees for more resistance in your everyday workout routine.
Outdoor Exercising for Advanced Fitness Levels
If a more intensive nature workout interests you, there are forms of green fitness that are up for the challenge. These exercises provide uneven terrain and require different muscles to move from place to place efficiently. These types of activities push the limits outside of the gym because you are at the advantage of nature’s limitless equipment.
There are a million natural obstacles you can use for your workout routine like rocks, uneven terrain, playground equipment, benches, stairs, and even climbing trees! You can even incorporate your previous gym routine outside by bringing resistance bands, yoga mats, and jump ropes with you! Your training can be as creative as you are and can go as far as you can imagine.
1. Barefoot Running
In recent years, barefoot running has been gaining popularity as a way to keep the body more grounded and aligned. People turn to this technique for many different reasons, such as injury prevention or just because they want to go back to basics. Barefoot runners usually have better balance and less risk of injury than those who wear footwear when they run.
This form of running promotes coordination and balance while exercising, helping you feel connected with nature.
2. Mountain biking
This form of biking is an excellent alternative to the stay-at-home studio bike. Unlike the boring gym equipment, mountain biking offers a green choice and a more intensive workout guaranteed to free your mind and fill you with energy. This form of biking requires more coordination that relies on upper-body strength for balance and control, working muscles that your gym bike can’t.
3. Mountain Climbing
Mountains are beautiful and provide a great view, but they also offer many health benefits. If you’re looking for exercise that will improve your strength and endurance, mountain climbing is a perfect choice. Whether it’s hiking to the top of a mountain or rock climbing on a sheer cliff face, there are adventures for all. By incorporating this activity into your workout routine, you’ll be able to increase muscle mass while burning fat at the same time.
This full-body workout will have you feeling like you’re on top of the world. Get out and find your peace in the mountains while you build your core strength.
The benefits of outdoor rowing are not only physical and mental but also environmental. Outdoor rowers have the opportunity to explore natural areas while getting their workouts in.
As a result, individuals who partake in outdoor rowing regularly may experience improved moods, decreased stress levels, better sleep patterns, and higher self-esteem.
Grab a kayak and head for the lake! This form of exercise is sure to exhilarate you as you travel the water and strengthen your cardiovascular fitness.
Outdoor Exercises Ideas for Seniors Too
We all know that staying active is essential, but it’s even more crucial as we age. The outside can be a great place to stimulate the mind and body, especially when you’re looking for fun activities. And by “outside,” I mean any location beyond your house or apartment- not just parks and forests! Whether you live in a city, town, or country, there are plenty of places to get out and enjoy nature from your front porch or backyard.
Gardening is not only good for your mental health; it’s also a great workout! Research has shown that gardening can help seniors maintain their physical strength, balance, and agility. It can also help older adults improve their quality of life by reducing feelings of isolation and depression, common among seniors in nursing homes or retirement communities.
Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor activities for seniors. Not only does it provide some much-needed physical activity, but also a way to show off your green thumb and creative side! Whether you prefer flowers or vegetables- there’s something out there for everyone.
2. Leisurely Strolls
We all know that walking is excellent for your heart. Even strolls are helpful when trying to ward off heart disease and lower blood pressure.
Outdoor walking is beneficial to seniors because it allows them to stay active, which helps prevent chronic diseases and improves their overall well-being. Fancy equipment is not required as long as you have shoes on your feet; all you need are safe sidewalks and paths.
3. Bird Watching
If you’re looking for a fun and healthy activity to help keep your mind sharp, try bird watching. It’s a relaxing way to get outside, enjoy nature, and meet new people. Bird watching research also shows that there are many benefits of bird watching for seniors, such as improving memory skills and reducing the risk of dementia.
Birdwatching is great for seniors who want to find solace in nature. Some of the most beautiful and calming experiences happen when you birdwatch, making it a relaxing activity that can help lower stress levels or serve as an escape from reality.
So go out and get a little nature therapy. Outdoor exercising is for everyone no matter what your skill level. Whether you’re walking, hiking, or biking we’re sure you will find something to love about exercising in the great outdoors. Consider some of these ideas instead of your next gym session and see how your body and mind thank you.