When the weather allows it, many of us enjoy stepping outdoors for a quick workout session. Yet, it can be boring to take a quick jog or join an outdoor yoga session. Thankfully, there are many fun and exciting outdoor activities you can do that you may have never even thought of. These activities range from sports, HIIT, yoga, and pilates to boot camp exercises even!
To help ensure that you have a wide range of workouts to choose from, we’ve decided to list at least 10 different outdoor workout ideas.
Outdoor Workout Ideas
Each of these exercises varies in intensity, but they can easily be changed up to meet your fitness goals. Whether you’re aiming to boost your cardio endurance, enhance your stamina, or burn some fat, you can easily find a different activity to suit your needs.
Here’s our list of the top 10 outdoor workout ideas you can try:
1. Total Body Toning For Beginners
This activity is designed to help those just starting to step into the fitness lifestyle. It consists of 10 to 15 minutes of full-body activities that can easily be done on top of a yoga mat or even ground.
As always, we suggest getting a decent five-minute warmup before starting this activity, since it will help elevate your heart rate and loosen your limbs.
- 10x Squats (3 Sets)
Start by placing your feet hip-width apart and firmly planting them on the ground. After that, slowly start to push down on your body and get into a squatting position. Stop when your knees are at a 90-degree angle or at least as far as you can go. Then, swing your arms behind you and push yourself back up.
- One-Minute Plank
Lay down on the ground and prop yourself up using your elbows. From there, raise your body so that it’s at a slight angle. Straighten out your back.
Hold this position for at least 60 seconds. If it’s too challenging to keep the form, consider taking a few seconds to break after 25 seconds and then start again.
- 10x Lunges (3 Sets)
Start with standing in a normal position before bringing your right leg onto the ground and bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. From there, rest your leg on the ground before pushing back up and switching legs.
Continue to make lunges for a full minute by either doing it in place or moving across an area. Do this 10 times for three sets, resting for a few seconds between each set.
- 10x Sit-Ups (3 Sets)
Sit down on the ground with your knees slightly bent. You will want your feet flat planted on the ground. Lay your back down on the ground as well.
From there, fold your arms into your chest and use your core to push your body up until you touch your knees. Lower your upper body back down on the ground before repeating.
- 10x Reverse Lunges (3 Sets)
These are similar to basic lunges, except you’ll be moving backward instead of forwards.
- 20x Side Twists
Sit on the ground with your legs at an angle while sitting upright as if you were doing a situp. Then, clap your hands together and extend your arms in front of you.
From there, twist your body, keeping your lower body steady and move your hands to touch the ground next to your bottom. Switch from the left to right side and continue to do so for 20 times.
This outdoor workout routine is perfect because you can easily do it anywhere. As long as you have a flat surface, you’ll be able to replicate this routine without any problems. It’s suitable for the park, beach, or even in your front yard.
Plus, it’s a beginner-friendly routine that is easy enough for those with disabilities or limitations. If you’re a parent, you can easily slip in this workout while your child is playing at the park. Even if you’re on vacation, you can easily head outdoors with a mat and fit this quick workout into your schedule.
2. Outdoor HIIT Workout
An outdoor HITT workout is perfect for when you’re on the go as it doesn’t require any equipment or memberships. If you’re on vacation, traveling, or in the mood for a quick workout, you can easily do this as long as you find a flat surface.
As per usual, it’s always best to get in a quick warmup. For that, you’ll be starting the with a quick two-minute HIIT based warmup. Do each one for 30 seconds:
- High knees
- Crabby crawl out
- Squat/high kick
- Grass grabbers
Once you’ve completed your warmup, you can give yourself a minute of rest time before heading into the core workout. Here’s one version of a HITT workout routine you can follow:
- 10x pushups, 2 reps
- 10x burpees, 2 reps
- 10x lunges, 3 reps
- 10x high jumps, 3 reps
- Crunches, 30 seconds
- Push-ups, 30 seconds
- Squats, 30 seconds
- Plank hold, 30 seconds
- Right side plank, 30 seconds
- Left side plank, 30 seconds
There are also tons of great HIIT workouts you can find online through video tutorials. These often don’t cost any money, and all the equipment you’ll need is your phone. Bring the tutorial outdoors with you and follow along for a quick workout when you have some free time.
Plus, strength training HIIT workouts like these can easily be modified by changing the intensity. This enables you to switch up your workout to meet specific goals. If you’re looking to get both your cardio and strength training workout in one go, we couldn’t recommend this more.
3. Cardio HIIT Workout – Hill Sprints
So far, the workouts we’ve listed have mainly been full-body routines, which use both cardio and muscle-building techniques. However, not everyone is too keen on building muscles. Sometimes, you just want to be able to go on a nice jog, which you can also modify to double as a strength-building workout.
One popular method of doing so is called hill sprints. This type of workout switches up how fast you’re running every few minutes, which keeps your heart rate up and puts you into a fat-burning mode. Hill sprints also burn much more calories than just your typical run, which means you won’t have to dedicate as much time to fit in your workout.
As you’ve already guessed, you will need to find a hill or area with a slight incline. Public parks, mountain paths, or trails can be a good option for getting the job done. However, for this workout, you will need to get supportive footwear so that you don’t slip.
Here’s how you can do this:
First, start by jogging up the hill at a moderate pace for five minutes. After this, you will begin to sprint. Sprint for four minutes, using at least 50 percent effort. This means not too fast but also not too slow. You should be able to keep a steady pace without feeling tired.
Next, give yourself a break for a whole minute by walking up the trail or going back down the hill before starting up again.
This time, push yourself a bit harder and begin sprinting at a 75 percent effort. This should be moderately hard, but continue to do so for the next three minutes. After three minutes have passed, give yourself another minute in between of just moderately walking.
Lastly, sprint again using at least 90 percent of your effort and pushing yourself to your limit for three minutes. After this, you can begin to go down the hill and walk as a way to cool down.
This is only one variation of a cardio HIIT workout. You can easily find ones suitable for the park, fields, or other wide-open areas. Finding a hilly area may be a challenging task if you’re living in the city, so don’t be hesitant to look up some HIIT cardio workouts for the park.
4. Tennis or Badminton
Now that we’ve listed a few full-body workouts, it’s time to try out some sports. Many outdoor sports can be enjoyed, but a majority of them are limited to the summer months. One of the most accessible types of outdoor sports is tennis or badminton.
Many parks and gyms include an outdoor tennis field that doesn’t require memberships. It’s an excellent method to enjoy a beautiful summer day with a gentle breeze, although you will need to invest or rent equipment to play a game.
The games only require two to four people, making it an excellent group activity. However, some tennis courts also include a wall that allows you to play by yourself. If you’ve never played before, there’s a good chance that you’ll find someone else looking to play a game. You’ll not only meet new friends but also pick up the necessary skills to play.
Lastly, you can pay a moderate fee to hire someone to teach you tennis or badminton. While it may not be the most affordable option, it’s an excellent method for getting outdoors while also picking up some sports knowledge.
5. Skiing or Snowboarding
Since we just listed an accessible summer sport, we’d also like to include a winter sport. Outdoor activities shouldn’t be limited to just the warm and sunny months; instead, we want to focus on activities that you can switch up and do all year round.
While snowboarding will be limited to snowboarding resorts, it may not be as accessible to people. That’s why skiing is a good second. You don’t need to have laid out a course for skiing, and it’s a good way to get an excellent upper body workout.
The gear is relatively cheap and can easily be adjusted for any size or age range. What’s even better is that you can make it a small group activity by bringing others with you. Skii along trails, sidewalks, or even in your backyard.
As for snowboarding, you’ll need to head to a snowboarding resort. There are plenty of snowboarding resorts, even in warmer climates, but they do tend to be a tad bit expensive. However, they are a good investment if you’re looking to spend quality time with your friends or family.
There are a few benefits to snowboarding, which can help improve your overall fitness. Firstly, snowboarding raises your heart rate if you’re going at a moderate pace. This is even true for if you’re on the baby trails.
Secondly, you’ll be using your whole body to navigate, which can help enhance stamina and build muscles. Thirdly, your legs will be your main source of control, enabling you to keep them tight while moving. Lastly, both these winter sports help boost your reflexes and keep you agile.
6. Outdoor Bootcamp
If you’re looking to push yourself to your limits while also reaching fitness goals, joining a boot camp is one method that can help. You can either sign up for a boot camp program or build one yourself. Alternatively, there are multiple places online that produce excellent outdoor boot camp activities for free, one example being POPSUGAR fitness.
From experience, we can say that it’s a lot easier to join a boot camp than design one yourself, but it can be a fun activity. In this section, we’ll give you a complete breakdown of how you can design your own boot camp for you and your friends.
Step 1: Find People to Workout With
The first step to any boot camp is collecting participants. Most people go about inviting friends who are close to the same fitness level, while others include anyone who wants to join.
Depending upon how hard you want the program to be, you can choose who is allowed to participate. Alternatively, you can also make a group on social media and see if anyone else is interested in joining.
Step 2: Create a Timeframe
Not everyone is going to be able to meet at the same time, so your best option is finding one that works for most people. Making it available on the weekends or mid-day can help get more people involved.
Step 3: Set a Location
Parks, outdoor gyms, or even playgrounds are an excellent place to set your activities. As long as you’re not hosting a huge gathering, you can generally get away with meeting there without any prior notice. However, some outdoor gyms and clubs require booking, so be sure to look into the details beforehand.
Step 4: Craft a Routine
With a large variety of different types of exercises to do, it may be challenging to come up with your program. The benefits of the internet allow you to easily become connected to hundreds of free programs that are suitable for all individuals.
Plus, you’d be surprised at how many professions are willing to help out with events like these. You can either charge a small fee or find someone looking to volunteer. If anything, another excellent idea is to have everyone discuss beforehand different moves or ideas and practice them at home.
Then, when you’re all meeting, you can go ahead and take turns demonstrating the moves as the instructor. This allows everyone to do their parts and puts less pressure on whoever is hosting the event.
Step 5: Consider Equipment
A big part of boot camp is having all the appropriate equipment available to everyone. If you’re working with a group larger than 10 people, you may want to consider using a circuit program.
A circuit program allows each person to do one exercise at a time before switching to the next. This gives everyone enough time to use every piece of equipment instead of having to bring in enough for each person. Some accessible pieces of equipment perfect for the outdoors are:
- Jump ropes
- Hand weights
- Yoga mats
- Stretch bands
Step 6: Execute the Workout
The last important step is to execute the workout by keeping to the set date and location. Make sure all members can make it before setting up and then start on time.
Having a quick notebook of what the workout program will be can also help you keep on track without wasting time. Plus, if all works out, in the end, you can even set up another boot camp event.
One outdoor activity that almost every single place in the world has is hiking. No matter where you’re located, you’ll find that somewhere near your location is a charming hillside path or mountain pass. Hiking is one of the biggest outdoor activities because it can double as a nice getaway from the busy world.
Here are other benefits you’d get from hiking:
- Hiking is known to be a powerful cardio workout that’s suitable for all ages. By improving your cardiovascular health, you can reduce the risk of heart diseases and increase bone density.
- Hiking also burns a moderate amount of calories if done for around 20 minutes to an hour. An average amount of calories burned within one hour of hiking is anywhere between 300 and 600 calories depending on the incline.
- One of the biggest benefits of hiking is that it’s possible to hike year-round. Unless you’re living in a very dangerous snowy and icy region, there are likely paths you can hike even during the winter. This lets you get a good feel for the outdoors year-round.
Exercises to Prepare You For a Hike
Hiking may be a bit difficult for some beginners because they don’t have the muscles to keep up with the rising altitude. For beginners, we suggest finding a trail that doesn’t have that high of an elevation, which will result in an easier time. However, for intermediate to advanced hikers, we suggest higher altitude hikes.
If hiking is an activity, you’ve always wanted to get into, and there are a few workouts that can help prepare you for your journey. These specific exercises help tone and strengthen your body, which can help push you through your hike.
- Goblet Squats
These types of squats require you to grab a kettlebell or dumbbell and hold it between your legs. Just as you would a normal squat, keep your feet hip-width away from each other and plant them firmly on the ground.
Make sure your back is straight before dipping down while holding the kettlebell. Dip until your knees are at a 90-degree angle before rising back up again and repeat.
This workout targets your glutes and helps build your lower body muscles. You’ll need a set of stairs or bleachers to face towards before stepping up and stepping down from the bleachers. Use higher steps or bleachers to get more of a workout.
- Downhill Lunges
Find a downhill slope while keeping your body upright. You’ll want to get in a position to lunge while also keeping your shoulders back and your back straight.
Using one leg, push down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. After this, you need to hold this position for a bit of time before stepping back into an upright position. Switch legs and continue to go down the inclined hill.
Another exciting way to workout outdoors is by creating your own circuit workout. Circuit workouts can be done indoors or outdoors, but they require you to set up individual stations. Each station will be done for around a minute or two before switching to the next. This method comes in handy when you’re limited on equipment or are working with a larger group of people.
Just as there are plenty of programs for boot camps, you’ll also be able to find a wide range of outdoor circuit programs online. While you may be tempted to choose one randomly, we do advise that you remember that not every workout routine is beginner-friendly. Be sure to use a suitable intensity for other members of your circuit.
There are many different types of circuit workouts online, but we will give you one example of an easy circuit workout you can do outdoors. It lasts approximately 30 minutes and combines both cardio activities with muscle-building exercises. The best part is that you won’t need any extra equipment.
Step 1: Warm-up
Start your activity by walking for at least five minutes. This helps to get the blood flowing and helps loosen up your muscles.
Step 2: Jog
Continue your warmup by jogging for an extra two minutes. This helps to boost your heart rate and get your body into a fat-burning mode.
Step 3: Walking Lunges
Stand up and take a big step forward, placing your left foot into a lunging position. Your knee should bend at a 90-degree angle, and you’ll need to hold this position while clenching your glutes.
From here, step off the leftover food and stand up again. As you’re moving, do the exact same thing with your right leg and continue to lunge for approximately one minute.
Step 4: Running
To help bring that heart rate back up and get you into the fat-burning mode, run as fast as you can for approximately one minute. If you’re feeling dazed, do your best to at least speed walk to keep your heart above baseline.
Step 5: Walking
Take a brisk one-minute break of walking to help cool yourself down and get your body rested. This helps slow down your heart rate and gives you a chance to catch your breath.
Step 6: Sprints
Find two distinctive landmarks and begin by running back and forth between them. You’ll want to sprint as fast as you can before walking back and repeating the sprint. Continue to do this for a full minute.
Step 7: Walk
You’ll be tired after sprinting so begin to walk to help give yourself a short rest.
Step 8: Push-ups
Find a flat surface and start doing push-ups for approximately one minute.
Step 9: Scissor Jumps
Use either a pole, a tree, or a wall to help keep your hands supported as you scissor jump. Bend a bit and lean on the wall before jumping and placing one foot towards the wall. From here, jump and switch legs. Continue to do this for one minute.
Step 10: Run
Again, we want to bring your heart rate back up, so begin by running as fast as you can for one minute.
Step 11: Jog
Slow down again by jogging for three minutes, replenishing your energy for the last push of the circuit.
Step 12: Long Jumps
Find a flat piece of land and start by being in the squatting position. From here, you’ll want to lower your body weight and push with your legs before jumping forward.
Jump as far as you can while swinging your arms to help propel you further. Leap for at least 30 seconds before walking and taking a break.
Step 13: Run
Now, go back to walking for one minute to lower your heart rate.
Step 14: High Jogs
For two minutes, jog and lift your knees as high as you can up into the air.
Step 15: Jog
Jog for three minutes to lower your heart rate and cool down.
Step 16: Walk
Lastly, walk for three minutes to cool yourself down and end your workout.
This particular outdoor circuit program doesn’t require the use of any equipment, which makes it easy to perform. You will need suitable footwear and also an open space, which means that it’s best done at parks or other public facilities.
This workout combines both cardio and strength workouts to give you a sort of “HIIT” workout. You can always alter this to your liking. The key is to switch between each muscle group, giving you enough time to rest before the muscles are used again.
If you have the available equipment, it’s best to bring portable options. This not only makes transportation easier but ensures that none of your workout gear gets damaged. Some popular choices include dumbbells, yoga mats, kettlebells, balls, and stretch bands.
Yoga is one of the most popular outdoor workouts because it doesn’t require more than a yoga mat. You can find many outdoor yoga classes that are either paid or free. Many classes range from beginner to intermediate and are a good way to improve your flexibility and strengthen your core.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to pay an instructor to get a good yoga workout. There are plenty of tutorials online that allow you to either follow along or gather inspiration and build your own yoga workout. Here’s one example of a yoga video you can perform.
Yoga shouldn’t be confused on a cardio workout, as you will still need to find a method to get your heart rate up. However, you can do a yoga workout to boost your strength, flexibility, and relax your mind.
Outdoor yoga can be a serene experience, especially if you live in a beautiful or exotic place. Imagine doing your morning yoga on the beach or switching it up and breathing in the sunshine at a public park.
The last outdoor workout we have to recommend is one that doesn’t come often. You may need to travel in order to join one, but they are a good way to challenge yourself. Participating in marathon training programs or signing up for a marathon in your area can be an excellent way to be active.
In summer, you can find many marathons being scheduled; some are official, and some are not. Each marathon is comprised of different types of activities, challenging your physical and mental strength. You’ll likely be pushing yourself to your limits in both cardio and muscle-building activities.
One of the best ways to find marathons near you is by using websites such as Active. This gives you the closest marathons near you and also lists a bunch worldwide.
Ultimately, there’s no excuse in the world not to get outdoors and workout. As you can see, there is a wide range of different outdoor workouts for you to try. We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with our suggestions, and there are millions more to find.
Other activities we haven’t mentioned include trail walking, surfing, and soccer. Some winter activities include glacier hiking, ice skating, and sledding. Lastly, you can also find your extreme outdoor workouts like rock climbing, sandboarding, and kayaking. Although, many of these are restricted to specific regions, which is why we didn’t mention them.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas to keep active year-round. The burst of fresh air is sure to entice you into doing something fun with your friends. If not, you can always find other outdoor workout ideas.