Monday, May 06, 2024

10 Low-Impact Exercises That Can Be Done Outside

Are you ready to take your workouts to the great outdoors? Whether you're beginning a wellness journey or looking to mix up an existing routine, there's something truly invigorating about exercising amidst nature's beauty. In this article, we'll explore a variety of low-impact exercises that are perfect for outdoor settings, providing a great way to stay active and healthy this summer. From leisurely walks to serene yoga sessions, there's an outdoor workout for everyone to enjoy. So grab your water bottle and sunscreen, and let's dive into the world of outdoor fitness! 

The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise 

Before we delve into specific exercises, let's take a moment to appreciate the many benefits of outdoor workouts. Not only does exercising in nature provide a refreshing change of scenery, but it also offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. Engaging in outdoor exercise can foster a sense of community and camaraderie, whether you're strolling through a local park or participating in group fitness classes at a retirement community in New Jersey. Additionally, outdoor workouts allow you to soak up vitamin D from the sun, breathe fresh air, and connect with the natural world around you. Research has shown that spending time outdoors can reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being, making it the perfect environment for your summer fitness routine. 

1. Walking: 

Walking is one of the simplest yet most effective forms of exercise, and it's perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Whether you prefer a quiet stroll through your local park or a brisk walk along a scenic hiking trail, walking allows you to explore your surroundings while improving your cardiovascular health and strengthening your muscles. To make the most of your outdoor walks, try to vary your route and pace, and don't forget to take in the sights and sounds of nature along the way. 

2. Cycling: 

Hop on your bike and hit the open road for a cycling adventure unlike any other. Cycling is a low-impact exercise that offers a fantastic cardiovascular workout while allowing you to explore new destinations and enjoy breathtaking scenery. Whether you're cruising through the countryside or tackling challenging mountain trails, cycling provides an exhilarating outdoor experience that's sure to leave you feeling energized and invigorated. 

3. Swimming: 

What better way to beat the heat and stay in shape than with a refreshing swim in the great outdoors? Whether you're cooling off in a pristine lake, taking laps in a sparkling pool, or surfing the waves at a beach, swimming offers a full-body workout that's gentle on the joints. Dive into your nearest body of water and feel the stress melt away as you glide through the water, soaking up the sunshine and embracing the freedom of outdoor swimming. 

4. Yoga: 

Unroll your mat and immerse yourself in the serenity of outdoor yoga. Practicing yoga outdoors allows you to breathe in fresh air while connecting to the Earth, and finding peace and balance amidst nature's beauty. Whether you're flowing through sun salutations in the park, striking a pose on the beach, or meditating in a tranquil garden, outdoor yoga provides a rejuvenating experience for both body and mind. 

5. Tai Chi: 

Slow down the pace and embrace the gentle movements of tai chi in the great outdoors. This ancient martial art is known for its graceful, flowing movements and its ability to promote relaxation, balance, and vitality. Find a quiet spot in the park or garden, and let the natural surroundings enhance your tai chi practice as you cultivate harmony and serenity in body, mind, and spirit.

6. Pilates: 

Take your Pilates practice outside and discover the transformative power of outdoor exercise. Pilates is a type of low-impact exercise that strengthens the core muscles, improves flexibility, and enhances overall body alignment and posture. Whether you're performing mat exercises in the park or using resistance bands in your backyard, outdoor Pilates provides a refreshing and invigorating way to sculpt a strong, healthy body. 

7. Hiking: 

Explore your local hiking trails for an outdoor adventure that's both exhilarating and rejuvenating. Hiking allows you to explore nature's playground, challenge your body, and reconnect with the wilderness around you. Whether you're scaling rugged mountains, trekking through dense forests, or meandering along peaceful paths, hiking offers a fantastic workout for both body and soul. 

8. Outdoor Strength Training: 

Who says you need a gym to get a great strength workout? Take your strength training routine outside and harness the power of nature to build muscle, improve endurance, and sculpt a strong, resilient body. Bodyweight exercises, including squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks, can be performed anywhere, from your backyard to a local park, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of outdoor strength training while soaking up the beauty of the natural world. 

9. Outdoor Stretching and Flexibility Exercises: 

Give your body the gift of flexibility and mobility with outdoor stretching and flexibility exercises. Stretching outdoors allows you to move freely, release built-up tension, and improve your range of motion while enjoying the beauty of your surroundings. Whether you're practicing gentle stretches in the park, flowing through yoga-inspired sequences on the beach, or simply taking a few moments to stretch beneath the open sky, outdoor stretching can help keep your body limber, relaxed, and injury-free.

10. Outdoor Group Fitness Classes: 

Joining outdoor group fitness classes is a fantastic way to stay motivated, make new friends, and enjoy the fresh air while working out. Many parks, beaches, and community centers offer a variety of outdoor fitness classes, ranging from boot camps and HIIT workouts to yoga and dance classes. Exercising in a group setting provides accountability and encouragement, helping you push yourself further and achieve your fitness goals. Plus, the outdoor setting adds an extra element of excitement and entertainment to your workout routine, allowing you to sweat, socialize, and soak up the sun all at the same time. Whether you're practicing yoga in the park or doing high-intensity intervals on the beach, outdoor group fitness classes offer a dynamic and energizing way to stay engaged in fitness and social activities.


As you can see, there are countless ways to enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise while taking care of your body and nurturing your soul. Whether you're walking in the park, cycling through the countryside, or practicing yoga on the beach, outdoor workouts offer a refreshing and invigorating way to stay fit, healthy, and happy. So, lace up your favorite shoes, grab your hiking gear, and head outside to discover the joy of outdoor exercise for yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it!

Pat Baker enjoys fitness, is a novice yogi, and writes for retirement communities in New Jersey.

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