Green exercise, or outdoor exercise, has become popular and it's no surprise due to the many advantages of being surrounded by nature. From improving mental health to mood enhancement, outdoor fitness can spice up your workout routine and boost your overall well-being.
It also offers a refreshing change of scenery and allows you to have a stronger connection with nature. Let's further explore the benefits and how you can achieve your health goals with green activities.
Why Choose Outdoor Fitness?
If you're like us, the thought of a daily workout routine can leave a bad taste in your mouth. The monotonous activities may become tiresome and boring. Fortunately, outdoor fitness offers a refreshing break from the daily grind and new scenery that will inspire you to stay active.
These exercises also provide unique challenges due to environmental elements like wind, rain, and cold weather, which can give an extra push to help you break through unwanted plateaus.
Tips for Optimal Outdoor Workouts
Starting an outdoor workout regimen is easy if you are prepared for the challenges you may encounter. Here are a few strategies you can use to get the process started:
Set Realistic Goals
It is easy to lose sight of your goals when the excitement is at its peak. To avoid burnout, set realistic goals and understand your capabilities and limitations. Start with smaller milestones and slowly work your way up to more difficult challenges.
For example, if you are a runner, aim to complete a 5K run before you enter a marathon. Or, if you're a weight-lifter, start with lighter weights and gradually work your way up to heavier sets. Smaller achievements will give you a boost of confidence to push further than before.
Find A Workout Buddy
While solo training can be a great way to practice mindfulness, finding a workout buddy is vital when staying consistent. They can give you a different perspective and share the highs and lows of the journey that will keep you both accountable.
Having an accountability partner can also significantly impact your success since they can help you stay on track and make the process a fun experience instead of a dreadful chore. Consider asking a family member, friend, or coworker to join you during your workouts. If you’re traveling, or looking for a couple of different partners, you could consider using an app like Gym Buddy.
Download A Fitness App
There is no shortage of helpful fitness apps to help you track your progress. Choose one that is suitable to your needs and research all the features it has to offer. From self-timers, calorie counters to a comprehensive workout plan, it can be the perfect companion to help you check and reach your goals. Consider options like:
Mix It Up
One reason health journeys are unsuccessful is the need for more excitement. Spicing things up can help lower boredom. Consider incorporating exercise routines if you are experiencing a lull in your current one, or try a new type of workout entirely. Add weights if you’ve been sticking to cardio, or add some yoga if you’ve been skipping out on stretching.
Try activities like bicycling, hiking, and even rock climbing to challenge different muscle groups and keep your enthusiasm alive. This will also help you understand and work on your strengths and weaknesses.
Fuel Your Body Right
Outdoor workouts demand energy and concentration, so a healthy and balanced diet is necessary. Before setting off on your next outdoor adventure, pack your lunch box with nutritious snacks healthy carbs and fruits, and bring a tumbler or a water bottle to keep you hydrated.
Fueling your body will energize you and prevent accidents due to nutrient deficiency and dehydration. The dangers of dehydration are significantly more common during long hikes or high-intensity workouts, where you burn more calories.
Listen To Your Body
It's easy to get carried away with the excitement of your new outdoor workouts. But it’s important to remember that your body needs rest, and you must respect its limitations. Pushing yourself past your boundaries can lead to injuries and significant setbacks.
If you feel exhausted or in extreme discomfort, take a break and give yourself time to recover fully. Your body will thank you for it, and it will prevent long-term damage.
Embrace The Seasons
Mother nature has a lot to offer, and you can embrace the changing seasons by incorporating it into your exercise regimen. For example, enjoy the vibrant fall colors while hiking, ski snow-covered trails, welcome the spring flowers with yoga in the park, and bask in the summer sun with a relaxing swim in a lake. Each season brings unique opportunities, so take advantage of everything it offers.
Don't Forget To Stretch
Mother nature has a lot to offer, and you can embrace the changing seasons by incorporating it into your exercise regimen. For example, enjoy the
Stretching before and after your exercise improves flexibility and promotes circulation throughout your body. Take a few moments before a workout to stretch and release any tension that may have built up from stress. After the activity, remember to cool down and help your body return to a relaxed state. This will also help reduce soreness in your muscles. You can also consider adding a yoga routine to your existing schedule to help naturally incorporate more intentional stretching.
fall colors while hiking, ski snow-covered trails, welcome the spring flowers with yoga in the park, and bask in the summer sun with a relaxing swim in a lake. Each season brings unique opportunities, so take advantage of everything it offers.
Engage Your Senses
Spending time outdoors can help you engage all of your senses. You can do this by breathing in fresh mountain air, listening to crashing waves and rustling leaves, and feeling the earth beneath your feet. Not only will you feel more connected with nature, but it can also help relieve stress and anxiety.
Stay Safe & Prepared
Outdoor activities can be dangerous if you aren't prepared. Before heading out, remember to:
Check the weather.
Pack the appropriate fuel and gear.
Download reliable map apps that will help you navigate trails even without an internet connection.
Let someone know where you plan to explore and your expected return time, especially if you are venturing into remote areas.
All your hard work can often go unnoticed, especially if you are focused on reaching your goals. But remember that rewarding yourself for achieving even a tiny milestone is part of the journey. This can motivate you to continue without being discouraged. It can be as simple as getting a massage, a small sweet treat, or a movie night.
These strategies should help you with your outdoor fitness journey. Remember, the key is to stay consistent, listen to your body's limits, and enjoy the simple moments.
Set Your Fitness Goals and Track Progress
Like any journey, setting specific goals is crucial to success. You can do this by outlining your goals and developing a realistic timeline. Clear objectives will also guide your routine and give you a sense of purpose.
To stay on track, you can keep a workout journal or download a fitness app (like those mentioned above) to help you observe your progress and stay accountable. Keeping tabs on your activities can help you adjust your workout regimen and stay focused.
Overcoming Challenges and Staying Consistent
Achieving your fitness goals is challenging. That's why it's essential to stay consistent. Bad weather can disrupt your plans, grueling activities can be physically and mentally straining, and boredom can happen if you do the same daily routine.
Stay motivated by switching up your exercises, finding a partner to train with you, or by entering competitions to help reduce boredom. Finally, challenge yourself by running a little faster, lifting heavier weights, or hiking a longer route. These small changes can lead to significant results over time.