Now that the warm weather is here, it's the perfect time to take a break from the gym and head outdoors. Exercising outside offers many benefits — not only will you enjoy the fresh air and get vitamin D from the sunshine, but the natural terrains (for example, hills, grass, and sand) will challenge your body and help you lose weight faster.
Types of Exercise
Walking is an easy and convenient exercise to take outdoors. You can do your interval walks, in which you alternate bursts of fast, intense walking with periods of slower strides to allow your body to recover, at a school track or around your neighborhood. If you’re looking for an alternative to walking, try swimming, biking, hiking, and even gardening, which are all ideal for any fitness level. To stay motivated, make a game of your workout. For example, dog owners can play Frisbee with their pooches. Families can play doubles tennis or start an impromptu game of tag. If you’re walking with your kids, choose something fun that you can all count to pass the time, such as red front doors, white cars, or people walking dogs.
Be sure to exercise for 20 minutes most days of the week. And try to switch up your activities to stay motivated and work different muscle groups. If you perform only one type of activity, you neglect certain muscles and overwork others. It's also important to exercise at different levels of intensity to build endurance — and boost weight loss.
The Importance of Core Training
In addition to outdoor cardio activities, remember to strengthen and stretch your body too. Core exercises (moves that target your abdomen, lower back, pelvis, and hips) are especially good, since the core muscles are vital for helping you maintain good posture, balance, and stability. Core training also reduces the risk of injury. Staying fit and healthy is the the key to being able to enjoy physical activity throughout your life.