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By: Haley Shaw

Haley Shaw is a wellness specialist and public speaker for her company, Amp Up Fitness. Here, she shares her favorite outdoor workouts.

Helllllo sunshine! Jumping from one building (work) to the next (gym) can be quite exhausting. All the while, we miss out on things like sunlight and fresh air. So, when warmer weather starts to rise, it’s time to take our workouts outside.

The Triple Threat

Outdoor workouts are a triple threat. You can enjoy the sunshine, warmth, and still get your endorphins in – all by making a quick switch to take your workout outside. Don’t get me wrong: Heading to the gym or taking a group fitness class is great. They help us improve our conditioning with different weights and machines. However, when the weather starts to turn, we can save time and money by simply taking a step outside and working out.

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The Challenge

I challenge you to ditch (not cancel, but freeze) one of the following during the summer months: gym membership, yoga studio package, spin, boot camp, or Pilates class pass. Instead, ditch the spin class and go biking outside. Buy a set of free weights (dumbbells, kettle bell, resistance bands, weighted vest, etc.) and hit-up a local park (or backyard) to complete a circuit style workout using free weights, and your bodyweight.

Maybe freezing your gym membership does not intrigue you. That’s perfectly okay! Keep your membership and aim to ride your bike or run to the gym. Too far to run or bike? Perform the warm-up or cool-down outside before heading into the gym for an awesome workout. Kids have soccer or baseball practice? Grab your running shoes and hit the streets. Start with a 5-minute walk/jog/run warm-up. Optional: Follow up with warm-up stretches to increase mobility and blood flow in your muscles and joints. After warm-up, complete HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardiovascular techniques or keep a steady pace.

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outdoor workout

Your Sample HIIT Cardio

Perform 1-minute all-out or near-all-out push of interval training: power-walk, run, or sprint. Slow down to a walk or jog and catch your breath for 2-4 minutes. Repeat the 1-minute push, 2-4-minute recovery 4-8 more times.

Lastly, outdoor workouts are all about being inventive. Create your own exercise equipment! Fill up two plastic containers or water bottles with water and you have perfect hand weights. Use stairs or benches for tricep dips, assisted push-ups, or step-ups. Here is a suggestion for a DIY outdoor circuit you can try: 

DIY Outdoor Circuit Workout

Circuit 1: 3 x 60 seconds

  • Lunges (add weight to increase intensity)
  • Assisted Push-Ups
  • Burpees
  • Bicycle Crunches

Circuit 2: 3 x 60 seconds

  • Dumbbell Push Press
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank 

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