As things warm up and move outdoors, it’s time to start thinking about what healthy exercises you do outside, as well. The freedom of no walls means the freedom to move, and that’s what exercise is all about. You can explore your limitations safely out of doors and, if you prefer, with a group, as group exercise can also keep you accountable in a way that looking at an app might not.
For the perfect cardio workout, look no further than a nearby pool. Whether it’s yours, a neighbor’s a community pool, or part of your gym membership, the resistance and freedom of swimming is the perfect no-equipment workout. It’s perfect for cooling down, too, in the hot weather. Also, how many workouts are you going to find where you feel like you’ve taken a shower when you’re done? Not a lot.
You might be the kind of person who has been quickly turned off by the idea of doing close-quarters exercising with a bunch of a people in an increasingly hot room. Sure, the warmth can be good for your muscles, but if a little distance is your thing (for your own reasons, or disease-prevention reasons), you can probably find a yoga class that is taught outdoors.
If you want a quick workout (usually about twenty minutes), High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) might be the option for you. Beware that the reason this goes so fast is because it is, as the name suggests, incredibly intense. It’s geared toward training your muscles and burning fat, so if those are your goals and your body can handle it, give HIIT a chance.
If you’re looking for a little low intensity walk-centric training, maybe hiking is the answer. You can hike anywhere, with very little equipment except some good shoes and protective clothes (and maybe bug spray, depending on where you’re going). Uphill walks can often be challenging as it is, and can give you the kind of workout you’ve been looking for, without having to beat your body up.
Not too many exercises have a practical component, or a built-in rewards system. Bike riding is one of the exceptions, being a perfect mode for travel for safe riders, as well as – if you plan your route accordingly – providing a little respite (and perhaps a treat) at your destination. Obviously, there’s a little more equipment here – at least a bike and a helmet – but the freedom of speed, even in your own neighborhood, is a new way to see your surroundings and get healthy.
There’s no shortage of outdoor activities that can be adapted into an exercise or be adapted to include exercise. They key is to do it safely, in a way you enjoy, and using methods that don’t tax you necessarily. Your doctor can tell you what exercises would be best for you, and which to avoid. Hopefully a few of these fall into this category.