It is easy to get stuck in an exercise routine and feel as if you have plateaued with your fitness goals. One of the best ways to push through this plateau is to mix up your routine by trying new activities. You will see even more gains if you get outside with your endeavors. Here are five ways to shake up your exercise routine as you get outside and connect with Mother Nature while working up a sweat.
Hit the Hiking Trail
Although it does not always feel like exercise, hiking is actually a great workout. Because you are having so much fun soaking up the beauty of the great outdoors, you will hardly even notice the strenuous exercise. Hiking boasts numerous benefits for your overall health, both physically and mentally.
If you are unsure of how to get started, check online to see if there are any local hiking clubs in your area. These resources will be able to recommend the best trails for beginners. When first starting out, be sure to choose a trail that is shorter in length than what you walk normally. Do not underestimate what the addition of difficult terrain and gains in elevation will do to your stamina.
Dive Right In
With summer just around the corner, this is a great time to dive right into the water. Swimming provides an exceptional cardiovascular workout. If you have access to a swimming pool, doing laps is an easy way to build your stamina and endurance in the water. Swimming provides a total body workout, burning an exceptional amount of calories while also boosting muscle tone in the process.
For a greater challenge, head to the lake for some swimming. Swimming in the open water provides a unique experience that you cannot replicate in a pool. If swimming is not your thing, kayaking also provides great exercise for the upper body while giving your mind the peace that comes with being out on the water.
Go on a Camping Adventure
You may not think of camping as exercise, but a lot of physical work goes into this outdoor adventure. This is particularly true if you lead a normally sedentary lifestyle. For example, camping in Maine encourages you to get out and get moving without even thinking about it.
As you camp, you will naturally want to walk around and explore your new surroundings. Most families are not content to simply sit around the campfire while on their trip. It is easy to get motivated to hike, bike, and swim when you have this change of scenery from your everyday life. Not to mention, the work that goes into setting up camp for the night.
Hit the Ground Running
It is never too late to become a runner. Running is hands-down one of the very best cardiovascular activities for your body. You will blast a crazy amount of calories once you lace up those sneakers and get going. As a bonus, you will enjoy that coveted runner’s high that comes with a good run.
One of the best things about running is that it is accessible to everyone. All that you need is a good pair of running shoes and a stretch of sidewalk in front of you. Be sure to start with small distances so that you do not get injured. It is important to pace yourself if you are new to the sport of running. Signing up for a race in the future will give you something tangible to shoot for.
If the impact of running is too much for your joints, you may want to consider mixing up your outdoor exercise routine with speed walking. This form of exercise is good for the lower body, upper body, and core.
Speed walking can be done in intervals if you are not up to walking the entire distance of the route at a high speed. There are numerous online training resources that can help you in setting up a program that works for your specific fitness level and time constraints.
The Bottom Line
Bust out of your fitness rut by trying any of these five exercises the next time that you want to push your body to try something new and have fun outside.