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8 easy ways to get an outdoor workout this summer

8 easy ways to get an outdoor workout this summer

Getting an outdoor workout is easier than you think. In fact, boosting your health and fitness over the next several months could be as simple as leaving the car parked, and using active transportation to run errands, get to and from work, meet up with friends, and get around town. Dig out your sneakers and tune up your bike… even an extra 10 minutes of exercise a day offers health benefits! If you’re looking for more ways to exercise outdoors this season, we’ve got you covered. Slap on some sunscreen and a hat, fill up your water bottle, and let Mother Nature be your workout partner.

  1. Walking:
    Taking more steps every day is likely the single best thing most Canadians can do to improve their health and all that’s needed is a comfy pair of shoes. Work at increasing your pace and distance, and vary your terrain to reap all the benefits of this often-under-rated form of exercise.
  2. Cycling:
    Swap four wheels for two; grab a map of the cycling trails near you; and make sure your helmet is properly fitted. Whether you pedal fast or slow, by varying your terrain (work hard on the uphills and recover on the downhills) and distance, increasing your pace as your fitness improves, you’ll get a terrific workout.
  3. Running:
    It’s best to start slow when taking up any new activity and running is no exception. In fact, I often suggest that those new to running, begin by alternating walking with short periods of running until they’re ready to transition to a light jog and perhaps eventually, a faster run. Buy some quality running shoes, consider purchasing a shirt or two designed to whisk away sweat (nobody needs heat rash), be sure to stay hydrated, and make yourself a playlist that will motivate you to get started, keep going, and to achieve your fitness goals.
  4. Stair Climbing:
    Stair-climbing burns more calories than running and in addition to benefiting your heart and lungs, it strengthens muscles in the lower body and core. Just find a  staircase in an outdoor park near you and walk up and down a few times. Trust me… you’ll get your heart pumping! As your fitness improves, increase the length of your climbing workouts as well as your pace. You might enjoy The Ultimate Staircase Workout For Serious Fitness Gains.
  5. Tennis:
    Whether you belong to a club or make use of your community courts a few times a week, tennis is a great way to have some outdoor fun and stay in shape. Make it a family affair with the kids or grandkids this season!
  6. Swimming:
    Make a splash with a water-based workout. Swimming improves heart health, strengthens and tones, helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes relaxation, and improves flexibility. Not much of a swimmer? Try some aquafit classes – they’re gentle on the joints and ideal for participants of all fitness levels.
  7. Hiking:
    Tone your lower body, challenge your balance skills, and work your heart and lungs while enjoying some of the best scenic views around. Did your favorite trail make the cut on Canada’s best hiking trails?
  8. Gardening:
    Not everyone likes to hit the gym or go for a run. Fret not, there are many ways to be active and boost your health. For this one, gardening, you just need to head to your own yard. Whether you’re new to gardening or have a yard fit to be featured on the cover of a magazine, spending time outdoors benefits us physically and mentally. Slap on some sunscreen, cover up with a hat, sunglasses, and some gardening or work gloves, and prepare to flex some muscle! Read on for more on the benefits of gardening as a workout.

A marketing communications professional with over 25 years of experience and a fitness instructor/trainer of three decades, Catherine has inspired thousands of Canadians to lead active, healthy lives. Catherine lives in Toronto and has two daughters, ages 21 and 18. Visit Catherine's website