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The Fit Way Forward: Outdoor Workout Routine

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Outdoor workout

Sharing a room (and equipment) with fellow sweaters is not how we look at fitness. Plus, we had a quick chat with our bank account, and it agrees – gym memberships ain’t our cup of tea. Okay, the results may turn out great if you’re really motivated enough to schlep to the gym every day. And we don’t mean to click gym selfies or longingly gaze at the cute gym rat.

How about a natural endorphin kick? If the stuffy indoor gym or your extra comfy home don’t push you to exercise to your optimum, it’s time you step out into the great outdoors. This could be your own backyard or the park. Here’s why you should workout al fresco.

Advantages of Outdoor Workout

  • You burn more calories that you would indoors or at the gym. How? The natural resistance offered by the wind and the uneven terrain pushes your body harder, which in turn burns more calories.
  • What’s better than starting your day with a morning outdoor workout session? Nothing. The fresh air spikes your feel-good-hormone, Serotonin, which makes your morning fitness routine a better way to start your day.
  • Staying cooped up in the gym, day after day, might lead to you losing motivation eventually. What’s your best bet? Taking advantage of the scenic outdoors while you run.
  • Gym memberships can drain your bank balance especially if you’re a no-show after the first week. You can instead follow an outdoor workout schedule that aligns with your mood and motivation. And no one’s charging you any money here. Phew.
  • Gym equipment at the gym can be a minefield of germs. You can choose to go around wiping every equipment clean before use or simply take your routine to the park once in a while.

Outdoor Exercises to Try

Here’s a lowdown on a few outdoor exercises that could be a part of your daily workout regime.

outdoor exercise- hanging crunch

1. Hanging Crunch

How to do:

Step 1: Grab an elevated handhold or a sturdy tree branch with your palms facing forward. Ensure your arms are fully extended.

Step 2: Exhale as you gradually lift your knees to bring them closer to your abs.

Step 3: Now inhale slowly as you release your knees to their original position.

Step 4: Repeat this 10 times and then take a break.

Targets: Abs

2. Park Bench Dip

How to do:

Step 1: Sit erect on a bench with your hands free on either side of your hips.

Step 2: Now supporting yourself with your hands, gradually slide your butt forward.

Step 3: Bend your elbows such that your upper arms are almost parallel to the bench seat. Gradually return to the original position.

Step 4:  Repeat this 8 times and then take a break.

Targets: Triceps, shoulders, core

outdoor exercise – park bench dip
outdoor exercise – side shuffle

3. Side Shuffle

How to do:

Step 1: Stand on an even surface with your feet apart and hold your fists close to your ribs.

Step 2: Now take three short lateral jumps towards your right, while sliding the left foot to meet the right foot.

Step 3: Now bending your knees, jump up and face the opposite direction.

Step 4: Repeat the above three steps while moving to your left. Continue alternating sides for 2 minutes.

Targets: Inner and outer thighs, quads

4. Bicycle crunches

How to do:

Step 1: Lie down with your lower back pressed to the ground and your knees bent with your feet on the ground. Both your hands should be clasped behind your head.

Step 2: Now with your lower body firm on the ground, reach up and tap your left knew with your right elbow.

Step 3: Repeat on the right side with your left elbow reaching to your right knee.

Step 4: Keep doing this for a minute while alternating sides.

Targets: Abs, thighs, hamstrings and core

outdoor exercise – bicycle crunches
outdoor exercise – salom jump

5. Salom jump

How to do:

Step 1: Place six rocks at equal distance in a zig zag pattern on the ground.

Step 2: Stand straight beside the first rock in the pattern.

Step 3: Now keeping your feet together, and your hands on your waist, jump beside the next rock. Keep doing this till you reach the last rock.

Step 4: Now turn around and repeat till you reach the first rock. Do this for a minute.

Targets: Hamstrings, quads and glutes

Other General Outdoor Exercises

1. Running

Running benefits your thighs, quads, calves and hamstrings, which makes it a killer workout for your legs. It is a core-carver that works on your deeper-core muscles, while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Besides, running strengthens your joints.

outdoor exercise – running
outdoor exercise - swimming

2. Swimming

Swimming benefits your muscles and builds endurance. The gentle water resistance makes your body use maximum muscle groups to wade through the water. Bonus? It’s a great cardiovascular workout too. You can try breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly or freestyle.

3. Cycling

Cycling benefits your cardiovascular health. Your core, upper body, quadriceps, hamstrings and lower legs are all strengthened with regular cycling exercise. It’s a great way to burn calories especially if you’re riding on not-so-smooth terrains.

outdoor exercise - cycling

Outdoor Workout Tips

  • If you’re planning to work out longer, carry a bottle of water or an energy drink to replenish your electrolytes and keep you hydrated.
  • Nykaa Recommends: HealthVit Orange Fitness Isotonic Instant Energy Formula Drink Powder

  • Exercising outdoors means exposing your eyes to UV rays. This calls for sunglasses that have both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Make an effective, sweatproof sun protection formula your workout BFF so you can save your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays.
  • Nykaa Recommends: Kaya Sweat Proof Sunscreen SPF 30+

  • If you’re running or cycling on crowded streets, it’s wise to invest in reflective gear. Neon sportswear will ensure you’re distinctly visible to vehicles.
  • Gift yourself a fitness tracker that’ll keep track of your heart rate, steps covered, etc. An economical alternative is to download fitness apps that are designed to supplement outdoor workouts.
  • Start with a pre-workout protein bar that’s power packed yet yummy. You don’t want hunger to hold you back in the middle of your run, no?
  • Nykaa Recommends: RiteBite Max Protein Daily Choco Berry Bar, Yogabar Assorted Multigrain Energy Bar

  • If music is an indispensable part of your exercise regime, get a waterproof arm band that can hold your phone, so your hands are free to move.
  • A functional fanny pack is highly underrated. From tissues to cash, you can stuff anything that you may need during or post workout.
  • Choose your workout gear based on the weather. If it’s cold, stick to dark-colored clothes that can insulate you from the chill. If it’s hot, bring out the light-colored clothes that don’t make you feel sweaty.
  • Do not compromise when it comes to the right shoes. If you’re running, it is advisable to invest in shoes specially designed for it, so you have the right grip and comfort.

FAQs on outdoor exercises

1. What are the benefits of swimming?

  • Swimming helps improve flexibility.
  • It strengthens the heart muscles, improving cardiovascular health.
  • It drastically improves muscle strength throughout the body.
  • It’s an effective way to burn calories while de-stressing yourself.

2. Is running good for weight loss?

Running is great for weight loss as it helps reduce visceral fat. Although, the amount of calories burnt depends on your body weight, running pace and duration.

3. Suggest some strength-building exercises to improve my running workout.

  • Press-ups
  • Walking lunges
  • Squats
  • Step-ups

4. What are the benefits of cycling exercise?

Outdoor cycling is a fun low-impact form of exercise that:

  • Reduces excess body fat
  • Improves joint mobility
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Improves posture, balance and coordination
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