If you’ve been feeling a little cooped up these days, maybe it’s time to give yourself a change of scenery and take your workout routine outside.
Outdoor workouts are sometimes referred to as “green exercise,” because it combines the wellness benefits of getting outdoors with moving your body.
Studies show that adding an outdoor element to your workout can result in improved mood and immunity all while giving a boost of Vitamin D. In fact, physical activity in natural environments can even burn more calories than a climate-controlled environment due to factors such as wind resistance, varied terrain, and temperature extremes.
What to watch for:
While uneven terrain can enhance your training by providing you with varied muscle recruitment, it can also be a magnet for an ankle roll. Check out the direct area you choose for your workout so you are familiar with what you can expect.
In addition, pay close attention to the weather. Working against the wind and rain can provide some great resistance and challenge but be prepared to take cover if a true storm surfaces. And break out that sun protection to keep your skin healthy.
3 Total-Body Workout Options
While these exercises might be a breath of fresh air to your stale routine, they are by no means a “walk in the park”, excuse our pun.
The items in this fitness toolbox can create a multitude of cardio, strength, and core workouts while still remaining portable and easy to store.
- SMART Guard Sleeved Tubing
- SMART Medicine Ball
- SMART Stick, 5 lb weighted
- SMART Weighted Jump Rope
- Mini Flat Bands
A pyramid workout stacks reps in subsequent order. Pinpoint a number and then count forward or backward by 10. Match the number of reps to the corresponding number. For example, a 10-1 pyramid workout will start with ten reps of your chosen exercise. Then a short rest. Next is nine reps, then 8, and 7, and so on. Repeat as needed. If you want to up the challenge, try a 20-10, or even a 30-20!
Squats & Lunges with Smart Stick
Clean & Press with Smart Stick
A superset workout pairs two exercises back to back without rest. The idea, also known as reciprocal innervation, is that you extend your workout set time, but avoid burning out by switching muscle groups.
- Squat & Paddle with Smart Stick
- Front Raise & Upright Rows with Smart Stick
The squat and paddle works your legs, glutes, back and core, while the front raise focuses on chest, shoulders & triceps.
Try sets of 25 of each of the two exercises with a 30 second rest period in between. Shoot for a 10-15 minute session and you’ll have your muscles shaking!
With just a few pieces of equipment, you can make your own personal circuit!
You can easily turn this into a group workout by inviting a few friends who also have the same fitness equipment toolbox. It’s a great alternative to group-shared equipment circuits.
Rep-based circuits. Do each exercise for 20 reps, then move to the next exercise. Active recovery happens while transitioning to the next activity.
Complete all six exercises and then rest for 60 seconds. Repeat several rounds to create a 30 minute workout.
- SMART Weighted Jump Rope
- Round the World SMART Medicine Ball Jumps
- SMART Medicine Ball Swing
- Chest flies with Mini Flat Bands
- ZigZag Twist with SMART Guard Sleeved Tubing
- Deadlifts with Mini Flat Bands
Thompson Coon J, Boddy K, Stein K, Whear R, Barton J, Depledge MH. “Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review.” Environ Sci Technol. (2011)
Fellin, Rebecca E., Kurt Manal, and Irene S. Davis. “Comparison of Lower Extremity Kinematic Curves During Overground and Treadmill Running.” Journal of Applied Biomechanics 26.4 (2010)