Summer has finally arrived; the sun is shining and the good weather is beckoning you outside – so what are you waiting for? The grand outdoors offers a variety of activities that allow you to have fun and shed those unwanted pounds.
Outdoor activity has the added bonus of being an inexpensive way to work out – no gym fees or fancy club memberships necessary. Just bring some sunscreen and get ready to leave the television and video games behind for some old-fashioned outside excitement. Here are 10 outdoor activities to help you lose weight:
1. Yard Work
The grass is overgrown and leaves are piled up about a mile high in the corner of the yard. Great news! You have a free workout just waiting for you in your front yard. All you need to do is grab a rake and go to work.
An hour of yard work can burn between 300 to 400 calories depending on the chosen activity. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that yard work is a perfect way to improve the appearance of your body and house at the same time.
Research has shown that walking has numerous benefits for your overall health. It’s gentle on the joints and is also an effective way to burn calories. Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes and take a daily stroll around the neighborhood.
You won’t have to worry about waiting in long lines at the gym for a treadmill or elliptical; simply open the front door and take a walk outside.
Take a bike ride and enjoy benefits such as: weight loss, toned leg muscles, reduced risk of heart disease and increased endurance. Cycling can be a great way for the family to exercise together. Investigate your options for local trails, or depending on the distance, you could bike to work instead of driving.
An outdoor excursion to the woods or local nature trail is an excellent fitness option. The American Hiking Society says that hiking allows you to improve your cardiovascular health while also improving your state of mind. Taking a hike allows you to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you. There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to clear the mind.
During the summer months, the water in your local lakes, rivers, pools, and in some cases the ocean warms up. Take advantage of this and go for a swim. Like walking, swimming is easy on the joints and is a very effective way to burn calories.
It is also a great way to cross train. The antigravity effects of swimming will allow your muscles to recover from other land-based exercise programs.
Maybe you want to enjoy the water, without actually getting wet. A canoe, kayak or rowboat will allow you to do just that. Find a place to rent a rowboat and take along your significant other for a romantic outdoor date. Just remember to bring some healthy snacks and go easy on the wine.
7. Circuit Training
So, you want to build some muscle? You can go to your local park and do bodyweight exercises outside. Create your own circuit program by combining a routine of push-ups, pull-ups, dips, sit-ups and jumping jacks. Many parks even have outdoor exercise stations that allow you to customize your workout.
It doesn’t matter what your favorite sport is, as long as you get outside and play. There are many outdoor sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and even Frisbee. Look in your local newspaper or activities guide for groups or teams and give it a go.
If you have kids, go outside for some healthy fun. It’s a great way to let your children expend some of that pent-up energy, and also gives you a chance to spend some quality time with them. The activity that you do is not important, as long as you keep your body moving.
10. Roller Blading
This modern-day cousin of roller skating will get your heart pumping in no time. Roller blading is also easier on your joints than running or jogging. If you live near the beach, there are many vendors that will rent roller blades for a nominal fee.
Roller blading on the beach path has an added benefit of allowing you to people watch. However, you don’t have to live near the beach to roller blade- Just find a paved trail, grab a pair of blades and skate like the wind.