Taking Your Workouts Outdoors

By: Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

More and more people are now attuned to their fitness needs. Whether it's an indoor or outdoor workout activity, they will always take the chance to stay physically fit and healthy.

Outdoor workouts are also becoming more popular nowadays. Like indoor exercises, you can get a lot of benefits like:

-             little equipment is needed in order to have a good workout; but there are also exercises that don't require any equipment at all

-             no more obnoxious people or crowded gyms

-             no need to drive back and forth a fitness facility

-             you can enjoy the fresh air

-             doesn't require special workout outfit or make-up

-             you get a lot of sunshine and vitamin D

-             you can work out anytime and anywhere

Some of the reasons for preferring outdoor workouts as a fitness routine may not be included on the list but whatever your reason is, there are still other things to think about. Now that you know the benefits, the next step is to learn the different activities fit for the outdoors.

Here are seven top bodyweight exercises to help you get the most from you outdoor workouts:

1. Lunges: this kind of exercise should be done in perfect form so that all your leg muscles, as well as your buttock muscles will work with every motion. You can also include some variations like standing lunges, alternative, elevated, walking, and rear lunges.

2. Push ups:   this is truly an effective exercise for your upper body but very few people do this now because they prefer press machines. The push up is a productive exercise that doesn't require any equipment. The basic movements include standard, wide, and close grips. By doing the three basic movements alternately, you can stimulate the muscles on your shoulders, chest, and triceps. You can achieve easier movement by elevating your hands; for harder movement, try elevating your feet. If you're brave enough, you can try clapping and bounce push ups.

3. Squats: doing squats the proper way can provide incredible power. Its effectiveness has been lost due to inappropriate form, improper instruction, and laziness. You can do variations like one leg, standing, pile, wide-stance, and overhead squat. By doing repetitions, you can feel your legs getting tired which means its taking its effect.

4. Step ups: if you do this exercise properly, then you're doing a brutal exercise. A bench will do as your equipment, and all you have to do is to step up and down. Just make sure that your head is up at all times and your back is in a straight position. This is also a great cardio exercise.

5. Chin ups: also called pull ups; use a tree branch or any playground equipment that allows you to pull yourself up and down. You can repeat this exercise as many times as you like.

6. Uphill sprints: try this exercise only if you can do a 100 meter dash. This is carried out by running uphill. Find a decent-sized hill and run up fast. Then walk right down. Just keep on repeating.

7. Duck walks: walk like a duck; squat down and stay put, then start walking. Repeat as necessary.


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