The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges and changes to our daily lives, especially when it comes to staying active. Most gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs are still closed, and the few that are open require you to wear a mask. While this is an excellent safety measure, it can make breathing properly during your workout difficult. Luckily, the beautiful summer months are here, and the great outdoors offers plenty of ways to stay active while still adhering to social distancing guidelines!
The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
Regular exercise leads to reduced risk of heart disease and other chronic illness, reduced stress, and improved sleep. In addition, staying active improves both your immune and mental health, both of which are incredibly important during a pandemic. While any workout can help you achieve these benefits, researchers at Glasgow University found that exercising outdoors had a 50% greater positive impact on mental health than indoor workouts. Whether you are looking for moderate or strenuous outdoor workouts, all come with the added benefit of improved short-term memory, reduced inflammation and blood pressure, improved ability to focus, and enhanced creativity!
Outdoor Workout Options
Listed below are some great outdoor workout options to try this summer!
- Go for a walk: Whether it is a walk around the neighborhood or through a nearby park, walking is a low impact workout that is easy to schedule into your day. Even just 30 minutes in the morning, evening, or on your lunch break will make a noticeable difference.
- Go for a run: Running is an excellent workout that leads to full body benefits. Visit our previous blog post for tips on running in the summer heat!
- Go for a bike ride: Biking is a perfect outdoor activity for all skill levels because you have the freedom to pick the difficulty of your route.
- Go for a hike: According to Harvard Health, hiking is a natural stress reliever and a great cardiovascular workout. It also offers new scenery and exploring opportunities, so you won’t even realize it’s a workout. If you will be hiking at a nearby national or state park, check their website to make sure the trails are open and to familiarize yourself with their COVID-19 guidelines.
- Participate in a virtual race: Many avid runners look forward to the races that happen every summer. While many of these races have been canceled, some are offering a virtual version where you can register online and download an app to track your run.
- Take your virtual workout outdoors: There are numerous apps and YouTube videos with virtual workouts available! To get the added benefits of exercising outdoors, simply take your laptop or phone outside and exercise in the yard, on the porch or even at a nearby park!
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