Don’t get me wrong - I love taking group fitness classes. I think gyms like 24 Hour Fitness are great for people looking for a wide array of equipment to use or different classes to try out. They’re also great for when you can’t get a workout done outside because of the weather.
However, when the weather is nice, why not take advantage of some of the fun outdoor workouts you can do? Many of them are free (or cost very little to do) and give you a fun, unique workout that isn’t always readily available at your local gym. Check out these awesome outdoor workouts to try during summer (or anytime the weather’s nice!).
Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Have you ever been out on the water on a hot, summer day? It can be extremely relaxing, it’s often much cooler on the water than offshore, and you can get in a great workout! Try out kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding in a bay area, in the ocean, or out on a lake.
Kayaking can be done in a single or tandem kayak, and you can opt to work either your upper body and abdominal muscles or your lower body with a foot-pedal kayak. Stand-up paddle boarding is great for improving your balance and stabilization, and also gives you an almost full body workout by requiring you to stand and balance while using your arms and core muscles to paddle the board.
Walking or running on the treadmill can provide you with a great workout, but it’s a lot more fun (and more motivating) if you’ve got a nice view and some fresh air! Why not check out the local hot spots for hiking in your area? Many local hiking spots have multiple trails, so you can choose how long and how strenuous you want your hike to be. The uneven roadways and varying ground levels provide an extra challenge for your legs, and it’s a great way to soak up some extra Vitamin D!
Hitting the Sand
Going to the beach offers you multiple outdoor workouts that you can do by yourself or with friends. Walking or running on the beach is fantastic for working the muscles in the legs and feet, as the sand makes it slightly uneven and gives you a bit of resistance, challenging the muscles differently than on standard flat ground.
Many local beaches and lakes have volleyball nets set up so that you and a group of friends (or even just one other person) can play a friendly game of volleyball. Know how to surf? Hitting the waves provides an excellent workout for the whole body; your arms have to work to paddle you out for each new set of waves, and your core and legs have to work to keep you balanced on the surfboard as you ride.
With tons of different outdoor workouts to try, you’re bound to find something (or numerous things) you enjoy that allow you to soak up some sun while you work out!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Main Photo Credit: Crdjan/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: EpicStockMedia/shutterstock.com