Summer weather is finally here and if you are like me, I’m spending more time outdoors. Every summer, I look, feel, and perform my best, all while spending the least amount of time in the gym. Sounds good right?
Moving outdoors is a great alternative to the gym and there are many ways to get in your fitness without dreading the “workout.”
Being in a constantly changing environment, burning more calories, saving money, meeting neighbors, and increasing family time all has an upside.
You’ll also feel better, have more energy and that means less stress, tension, confusion, and depression.
To feel better and stronger, check out my four tips to stay fit this summer.
1. Yard work
We’ve all got to mow, right? Well, do double duty and count the work as exercise!
Carrying and pushing heavy objects can be rewarding and effective at helping you achieve your goals. There is a reason the “farmer carry” is popular as a conditioning exercise in many gyms!
I use a push mower to mow the lawn and stack hay bales for a local farmer to make some extra cash. Get that ‘to-do-list’ done and get fit at the same time.
2. Summer sports
Sports count as exercise, no matter what your favorite activity.
I play slow pitch softball two nights a week and golf occasionally during the summer months.
Softball can be a great form of HIIT (high intensity interval training), while walking (not driving a cart) for a round of golf is a good form of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) or active recovery.
Sign up for a local league, tournament or outing, but be careful not to consume too many empty calories that are often associated with these events.
3. Hit a park bench or outside gym for Bodyweight Resistance Training
Bodyweight training is the #1 fitness trend of 2016, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. It’s also my favorite form of resistance training, as using your own bodyweight is a functional workout that requires minimal equipment.
Walk, run, or bike to your local outdoor fitness equipment (you can often find it along bike paths and parks) and perform exercises such as the chest press machine, pull-up, dip, and step-up using just your bodyweight for resistance.
Your community may not have all of these particular pieces of equipment, but you can substitute exercises for the ones listed. For example, if you don’t have access to an outdoor chest press machine, do a push-up variation instead.
4. Local gym workouts can work outside, too.
As someone who works in a gym, it may seem odd that I am telling you to get outside of it, but there is a way you can go to your local gym – or at least mine – and still receive the benefits of training outside.
When the weather is nice, we at QCSP take our athletes, personal training clients and group fitness members out in the grass or parking lot to do many of the same exercises that they would do normally inside. We also have them do exercises that don’t work inside, like our infamous tractor tire exercises. This allows them to receive the benefits of training outside, but with instruction from a professional.
If you do decide to try one of these for yourself, make sure you are prepared. I bring a bag that contains sunscreen, bug spray, a towel, and a water bottle!
Cody Lichthardt is a Performance Enhancement Specialist at Quad City Sport Performance and a Certified Personal Trainer at Rock Valley Health. Cody works to help others gain the benefits of training and proper nutrition. You can read Cody’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.