Picture this – it’s 75 degrees outside. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and your body is ready for a workout. Who wants to take it down to the dusty old basement gym on such a perfect day?! Time to move that equipment outside and get after it! And, whether it’s rain, snow, or shine, you can always find creative ways to stay active with these best outdoor exercises.

 

Benefits of Outdoor Workouts

A sad but true fact, 79.2% of Americans do not achieve the guidelines for aerobic conditioning and muscle strengthening. (1) Part of the reason for this may be that many people are uncomfortable with a traditional gym environment, or they don’t know where to start when it comes to navigating an overwhelming amount of gym equipment. Many people may feel self-conscious or fear of looking silly if it is their first time in a gym. The outdoor space provides a safer, more comfortable, and less intimidating option for folks who want to get (and stay) active, but experience barriers to a traditional gym setting as described above. Recent research shows that outdoor exercise increases participant adherence (2), enjoyment, and exercise satisfaction. (3)

 

So, if you are struggling to get to the gym or feeling bogged down, switch it up and TAKE IT OUTSIDE!

 

Looking For Guidance That Will Take You Through An Entire Fitness Program?

fitness home program best outdoor exercises

At Team [P]rehab we have spent the past 10 years merging exercise science with physical therapy allowing us to create the ultimate full-body fitness program which will not only build your physical body safely and effectively but will also change the way you workout & approach exercise forever. The best part? You can even complete this at home, with minimal equipment?

Tips for Taking It Outside!

Ready to step out that door and get after it? Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

 

  1. The outdoor space is a great one for aerobic work or doing a walk/jog/run. You can utilize parks, stadiums, walking trails or paths, hills, or neighborhoods to get your sweat on. Try switching it up every once in a while so you don’t get bored with the same scenery!

 

  1. Use what you’ve got! Look at your available outdoor workout spaces and think to yourself, “how can I use what is around me?” A column or light post makes a great place for a wall sit exercise, a railing offers a way to do pulling work, and a kids playground can easily become a pull up bar. Creating new movement experiences using the world around you can be really fun and memorable.

 

  1. Bodyweight exercise is your friend! Defined, bodyweight exercise is “a type of strength training where you use your own body weight to provide resistance against gravity.” (4) When you use your body weight for a workout, you are essentially using your body alone without any external exercise equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or bands. Bodyweight training can be a very effective, ‘most bang for your buck’ tool for improving your health and fitness. Below we discuss several fun bodyweight exercises that are sure to make you sweat!

 

READ: OTHER BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES FROM HOME

bodyweight chair exercises the prehab guys best outdoor exercises

 

burpee

Sample [P]rehab Fitness Home Edition Program Exercise Video

 

Drop squat

Sample [P]rehab Fitness Home Edition Program Exercise Video

 

Jumping lunge

 

Tips To Master Your Home Workouts

 

What Do I Need to Get Started with Best Outdoor Exercises?

Okay, so you are ready to start exercising in the nearby park or neighbor’s backyard – how do you get started? What factors are there to consider? We will outline them below!

 

WORKOUT STRUCTURE

There are many different ways to structure an outdoor workout. Many people utilize interval workouts to keep things fresh and interesting. Some of these examples include:

  • Tabata-style intervals — 8 rounds of 20-second high-intensity intervals with 10-second recovery after each.

 

  • Super sets — Exercises performed back to back with no rest. Options include reciprocal movements like pushing/pulling, alternating between lower/upper body, etc.

 

  • Ladders — Multiple exercises performed in a row as a set with an increasing number of repetitions each set. For example, squats, push-ups, and lunges would be performed as a set that includes a sequence of 4-6-8-10 repetitions.

 

  • Pyramids — Multiple exercises performed in a row as a set for an increasing then decreasing number of repetitions within each set. For example, squats, push-ups, and lunges performed as a set that includes a sequence of 5-10-15-10-5 repetitions.

 

Prehab Membership The Prehab Guys

The Prehab membership is the anti-barrier solution to keeping your body healthy. Access state-of-the-art physical therapy, fitness programs, and workouts online in the comforts of your own home or gym! Taking control of your health with exercise & education from the palm of your hand has never been easier. Get access to 50+ programs, 100+ unique workouts, and 3000+ exercises to build your own workout routines. Trial it for free, and learn how to get out of pain, avoid injury, and optimize your health with [P]rehab!

 

EQUIPMENT

We discussed the effectiveness of bodyweight-style workouts, however, if you do have exercise equipment available, bring it outside with you! Medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and portable plyometric equipment can provide a creative way to provide variety as well as challenge the body in new and unique ways when exercising outdoors.

LISTEN: HOW TO CONTINUE TRAINING WHILE TRAVELING

staying fit while traveling best outdoor exercises prehab guys podcast

 

We have provided a few exercises below that utilize resistance bands that would be perfect to do outdoors!

 

banded RDL – Row

Sample [P]Rehab Fitness Home Edition Program Exercise Video

 

3 way banded bicep curl

 

Putting It Together

Below we have provided an example from ASCM (5) that outlines a structured outdoor workout that can be done either with bodyweight alone or with resistance bands. Try utilizing the structure and throwing in your own exercises!

ASCM exercise guidelines best outdoor exercises the prehab guys

 

Closing Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a fresh change in your current workout routine or seeking out a way to start an exercise program that is fun and non-intimidating, look no further than the great outdoors! Grab your friends, kids, coworkers, or family members for some movement in the local park or community space. Remember, exercise is medicine, and being creative about your workouts can keep being healthy both engaging and enjoyable.

 

Learn How To Train For Longevity

fitness home program best outdoor exercises

Fitness is not about using such a high intensity that you are unable to get off the floor afterward. We are all about hard work, however, we want to make sure you are able to work out across the lifespan both safely and effectively. The number one reason why people no longer participate in an exercise program is due to injury, let’s prove that statistic incorrect by using a fitness program with the intended goals of getting you in shape while avoiding injury! To do so, the first 4 weeks is meant to load your tissues to create a movement base this ready to take on the next 8 weeks. Let’s also make sure that we are not just addressing the physical you but are helping you become healthier by giving you methods to decrease your internal load via positive self-talk and gratitude practices.

REFERENCES

  1. CDC/NCHS. National Health Interview Survey, 2014. Sample Adult Core Component.
  2. Hug SM, Hartig T, Hansmann R, Seeland K, Hornung R. Restorative qualities of indoor and outdoor exercise settings as predictors of exercise frequency. Health Place. 2009;15(4):971–80.
  3. Thompson Coon J, Boddy K, Stein K, Whear R, Barton J, Depledge MH. Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environ Sci Technol. 2011;45(5):1761–72.
  4. https://www.inmotionoc.com/benefits-of-bodyweight-exercises/#:~:text=Bodyweight%20exercises%20are%20a%20type,without%20any%20other%20exercise%20equipment.
  5. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal21(1):10-15, January/February 2017.
  6. Stanford, Kathleen1; Pomeroy, Alexander1; Bates, Lauren C.1; Tamminga, Kyle2; Chai, Thevy2; Moore, Justin B.3; Brookey, Lindsay4; Stoner, Lee1 Exercise Is Medicine® on Campus during COVID-19: Necessary Adaptations and Continuing Importance, Translational Journal of the ACSM: Fall 2020 – Volume 5 – Issue 12 – e000157
  7. doi: 10.1249/TJX.0000000000000157

 

About The Author

Taryn Beumont, PT, DPT, CLT, CF-L1, CNC

[P]Rehab Writer & Content Creator

taryn everett the prehab guysTaryn was born and raised in Maine and still resides there with her boyfriend and son. Taryn received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Husson University in 2010, and also carries a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Human Movement Science. She is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, a Certified Crossfit Level 1 Trainer, and a NASM Certified Nutrition Coach. Taryn has 10+ years of experience in many different realms of PT, from the young athlete to the geriatric patient. Taryn considers herself a ‘lifelong learner’. She has special interests in oncology care and breast health, dry needling, and Crossfit training. In her free time, Taryn enjoys fitness, spending time with her family, continuing education, writing and reading, and is very excited to be a part of The [P]Rehab team to educate and empower others to take control of their own health and wellness.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer – The content here is designed for information & education purposes only and is not intended for medical advice.

About the author : Taryn Beaumont PT, DPT, CLT, CF-L2, CNC

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