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  • 7 Ways to Workout Outdoors

    Spring is finally here and wherever you are, the weather is probably warming up by now. As much as we all love the iron paradise, sometimes it’s so beautiful outside that you almost don’t want to go inside to workout. On days like that, here are a few suggestions for how you can get in a good workout outside of the gym. So, go ahead, enjoy the sun without missing your workout. Just don’t forget the sunscreen:

    Walk, Run, Hike
    So, cardio probably isn’t your favorite thing. But we all know that some cardio now and again is good for us. If you want maximum impact and want to get it over with quickly, try some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like sprints. You can do them on a track, a trail, the beach…anywhere really. If that’s not your cup of tea, find a good trail and go for a hike. Hiking is good cardio but an intense trail can also make for a good leg day.

    Biking is a good way to get in some cardio and can be less objectionable than running since it puts less pressure on your knees and ankles. You can do bike sprints for a good HIIT workout or go for a long ride to work thighs, glutes and core.

    Outdoor Gym
    Outdoor gyms are becoming a lot more common, especially if you live near a beach or in a really fit community. You can also find them on a lot of college campuses (and no—you usually don’t have to be a student to use them). While it won’t have all the same equipment that your normal haunt does, it’s a great way to get outside, breath some fresh air and lift some weights. Bonus: you can also work on your tan while you’re at it.

    Kayaking is a great arm, chest and back workout, especially if it’s not something that you do often. While you’ll predominantly work arms, shoulders and upper back, you’ll also engage your lower back, abs and legs. In an hour kayaking, you’ll engage all the same muscles it would take you three days to hit in the gym. You can narrow or widen your grip and paddle harder or faster to make this exercise as challenging as you need it to be.

    By swim, we mean to get in the water. Don’t just sit on your towel, stare at the water and try to get a tan. If you live near the beach or a large lake that’s safe to swim in, take advantage of that. Even just casual swimming can burn hundreds of calories and engage muscles we usually overlook in the gym. If you’re not near water, find a good outdoor pool and try to go at off-peak hours so you’re not fighting small children for space. That’s one battle you’ll probably lose.

    Hit the Court
    Hit the court or the field, depending on what you like to play. Get some friends together and play a pick-up game of basketball, football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee or whatever it is that floats your boat. It’s great cardio, will burn a ton of calories and will work a ton of different muscle groups—no matter which you choose to play. It’s also a great way to spend time with some friends that you don’t normally see at the gym (or outside of them gym, depending on who you invite).

    Park Bench Workout
    There are a lot of strength and bodyweight exercises you can do with a park bench or picnic table. Cycle through a few sets of incline and decline push-ups, box jumps, triceps dips and single leg lunges. Finish it off with some other bodyweight exercises like burpees, planks, pistol squats and mountain climbers and you’ve got yourself a full-body workout.
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