12 Outdoor Exercise Ideas Change Up Your Cardio Routine

If you want to get in a good shape and..

12 Outdoor Exercise Ideas Change Up Your Cardio Routine

If you want to get in a good shape and stay fit for the summer, you don’t have to spend all your time in a stuffy gym.

You can do amazing cardio and strength workouts outdoors and take advantage of fresh air and beautiful weather.

So, head to your nearest park, beach or playground and get toned and fit without setting a foot in the gym.


Swimming is a great cardio workout that will tone your arms and legs without being hard on the joints.

Swimming will also increase your stamina, keep you healthy and relieve all that built-up stress.

So, if you live somewhere near the ocean, lake or a river, go get a dip as soon as possible.

Sailing and rowing

Sailing is a full-body workout absolutely great for your upper body, endurance and agility, plus it burns a ton of calories.

Also, rowing works wonders for your legs and core while burning the calories like they’re nothing.

So, forget about all those gym machines, and get in the water for some kickass cardio and a healthy dose of vitamin D.

Stand up paddleboarding

Outdoor Exercise Ideas

Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP for short, is a great outdoor full-body workout that’s super fun and easy to learn.

You will not even realize you’re exercising, but you will use your entire body with the focus on your core and arms.

It might seem easy, but soon you’ll find yourself winded and burning some serious calories.

So, if you want to introduce some watersports into your life but are not a fan of swimming, give SUP a try.

Trail running

If you don’t have time to go for longer runs, but still want to boost your calorie burn, you should try trail running.

Because of the uneven terrain and different textures, you will have to work harder, thus making your short runs more intense and effective.

You will struggle more to find stable footing, get used to ups and downs and achieve the balance than when you’re running on a treadmill or hard pavement.

You will also have to change your pace and use short burst of energy to jump over stones and make some steep climbs.

Plus, you will have the chance to enjoy beautiful views and get some fresh air.

Fun runs

If there are no trails to run near your home, you can always spice up your running route through the city with some interesting games.

While you’re getting ready for your run, choose some bodyweight exercises and some landmarks or situations you are likely to run into on your route.

For instance, choose push-ups, lunges, squats and burpees, and landmarks or situations, such as red light, convertible, bench or pizza place.

Now every time you see a convertible you have to do 10 lunges and every time you pass a pizza place you do 10 burpees.

This is an easy and fun way to mix cardio with strength exercises and also to keep you present and focused during your workout.

When you’re actively being on the lookout for these landmarks and situations. There will be no time to stress about that business meeting tomorrow.

Park Bench Set-Ups

Do you think that you can use benches only for resting?

You can use them for stepping, jumping, push-ups and dips.

All those bench exercises will get your heart rate up, build strength and shape your glutes, quads and calves.

Basically, benches are like those expensive gym machines, only for free!

Remember your childhood with a playground workout

Outdoor Exercise Ideas

Did you know you can have some crazy fun and still get a complete workout?

Well, now you know!

Visit your local playground with your kids and you’ll be surprised just how intense it can be.

You will work your arms and abs on the swing and monkey bars, and legs while climbing slide stairs.

Also, there will be a lot of running and jumping involved! That child in you (and your own kid) will be so grateful.


Forget about those boring stationary bikes from your gym.

Cycling outside is not only a great cardio workout. But it’s also perfect for exploring and getting to know your city and surroundings.

You can cycle to different parts of the city, explore new parks, paths and trails.

You can even save some money if you decide to commute to work by bike, while exercising your legs along the way like never before.


Outdoor Exercise Ideas

Cruiser boards are making a huge comeback in the past couple of years.

Both kids and grownups all over Europe are going crazy over high-quality plastic cruiser skateboards, and honestly, so should you.

When skateboarding, you must use your whole body: feet and legs for propulsion, as well as arms and core for balance.

All these different movements will make you burn a ton of calories without even noticing.

You will also improve your stamina and balance, and have so much fun in the meantime.

Grab your friends for a volleyball match

Gather up your friends or work colleagues and organize a friendly game of beach volleyball.

You will not only tone your arms, abs and legs, but have a ton of laughs while doing it.

So, hit your local beach for some volleyball workout and fun. Pro tip: put on some sunscreen and bring a lot of water for hydration.

Obstacle-course race

If you want to combine adventure, fun and fitness into one unique full-body workout. And do all of that outdoors, then obstacle-course races are made just for you.

You will have a chance to crawl, jump over the obstacles, climb ladders and walls, navigate tricky paths and many more different activities.

So, if you like to race and are adventurous, give it a try by all means.

Rock climbing

If you’re looking for an ultimate outdoor strength workout, you need not look any further.

Rock climbing will get you to burn up to 800 calories per hour while exercising your legs, arms and core.

It’s also a great way to have fun, learn how to overcome fears and obstacles and build confidence. A true body and soul workout!

As you can see, you can get fit and stay fit without the gym.

Sign up for some of these, or incorporate them into your everyday workout routine and enjoy fresh air and sun. But most of all, have some crazy fun!

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Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

We eat clean, are always motivated and helpout beginners in need. We sell guides on Cutting, Bulking and Muscle Building. Checkout our website!

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