Fitness

Breathe Some Fresh Air Into Your Workout Routine

Photo: DonkeyHotey

In case you were stuck inside on Earth Day this past Sunday, you still have ample opportunity to get outside and embrace Mother Nature. As summer is quickly approaching, here are a few simple outdoor workouts that will keep you sweating all summer long:

You don’t have to be a member of an exclusive country club or fitness facility to take up swimming this summer. Swimming in the ocean or lake is a great total body workout that engages all of your muscle groups. However, this is mainly directed towards more experienced swimmers, and as a safety precaution, be sure to swim horizontal the shore in order to avoid swimming too far out of your comfort zone. If you’ve never swum laps before, try starting with water aerobics and work your way up at your own pace.

Hiking is another excellent workout for exercisers on a budget. Silence your cell phone, leave the iPod at home and immerse yourself in all that Mother Nature has to offer this summer. Hiking can increase stamina, boost your immune system, strengthen your heart and even boost your mood. Before you hit the trail, remember to pack wisely. Anticipate possible roadblocks and pack appropriately—after all, there can only be one Bear Grylls.

Finally, you don’t have to be athletic, or even coordinated, to participate in this last activity. Help the environment while helping yourself by taking up gardening this summer. Gardening is a moderate cardiovascular workout that also targets certain muscle groups. According to National Garden Magazine, “45 minutes worth of gardening can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of aerobics. Turning compost is also a great alternative to lifting weights, and raking the lawn as the equivalent to using a rowing machine.”

If none of these workouts sound appealing to you, take your favorite workout outside, instead. From yoga to spinning, modifying your workout to fit the alfresco can be a breeze. If yoga is your thing, grab a mat and find some shade and you’ll be ready to “breathe in, breathe out” a breath of fresh air. If you hopped on the “Spinning” bandwagon this winter, adjusting your workout to the outdoors is as simple as getting a bike and following the open road. A little fresh air can go a very long way.

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