Gyms can be intimidating. The amount of people, available machines, and pressure to perform can sometimes discourage us from wanting to go. If you’re feeling apprehensive about getting to the gym, consider exercising outdoors (weather permitting).
Outdoor exercise has numerous benefits over indoor exercise, including cleaner air, lack of membership fees, a more rigorous workout, and benefits to your mental health. In a study from Exeter, participants who exercised outdoors had higher levels of enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem, as well as lower levels of tension, depression, and fatigue than participants who exercised indoors.
Despite outdoor exercise being objectively more difficult, those that exercise outdoors are generally able to exercise longer and push themselves harder. Here are five workout ideas to try for yourself outdoors.
Walking Lunges with Overhead Reach
A walking lunge with overhead reach is a multi-joint exercise and a great warm-up before the rest of your workout. This exercise utilizes all of the muscles that cross the hip, knee and ankle joint, warming a lot of muscles at once. By moving through two planes of motion, it doubles as an excellent dynamic warm-up.
Begin by standing on one leg while holding your opposite knee at hip level. Step forward as you inhale, lunging and swinging both of your arms overhead. Hold this lunging position before shifting your weight to your leading leg to lift you up while bringing your arms back down. As you return to a standing position, exhale. Repeat this motion anywhere from 8-15 times.
Alternating Split Squat Jumps
Split squat jumps are similar to the walking lunges, however at a much higher intensity. Increasing your workouts’ intensity is ideal for trying to reach a fitness goal – like looking sharp for an upcoming wedding – in a set amount of time.
You begin by standing upright with your hands held behind your head. Then, you take a step forward and drop into a split squat so that your leading thigh is parallel to the floor. When returning to a standing position, push up from the balls of your feet to rapidly jump up. While in mid-air, switch your legs to land in the opposite stance and then lower yourself back down into a split squat. And then repeat.
Spiderman push-ups are great for working yourpectoral muscles, deltoids, and triceps. They’re a higher intensity than traditional push-ups, so you won’t need to do as many to get the same results. This means you’ll reach your goal to look fit for that upcoming wedding faster, and won’t have to stress about how your rental tuxedo fits for the occasion, either.
You begin by starting in a traditional push-up position. The only variation between a traditional push-up and a spiderman pushup is your leg movements. For each rep in a spiderman pushup, you also alternate bending your knee towards your elbow to mimic a spiders legs. Everytime you go down, you switch which leg you bring towards you.
A pike push-up targets your shoulders better than a traditional push-up while also working your chest.
To begin, assume the usual push-up position. Then, left your hips so that your body forms an upside down “V”, similar to the downward facing dog yoga position. With your legs and arms as straight as possible, begin bending your elbows and lowering yourself so that your head is almost touching the ground. Then, push-up.
Hill sprints are short and high-intensity, utilizing gravity to build strength in all of your running muscles. These sprints function the same way that turning up the incline on your treadmill at the gym would. To accomplish them, find a steep hill with an incline and use it to sprint up on. You should only do a couple when you’re starting out, as you’ll need to build an endurance for the high-intensity.