6 Outdoor Activities To Shake Up Your Cardio Routine

Are you tired of your regular workout routine that includes..

Outdoor Activities

6 Outdoor Activities To Shake Up Your Cardio Routine

Are you tired of your regular workout routine that includes going to the gym at least a couple of times a week?

Do you feel like you’re trapped indoors too much during the day, and would gladly welcome a change?

If this is the case, look no further, since we’ll give you some amazing ideas on how you can shake things up a bit and do cardio outdoors, for a change.

Why Opt For Outdoor Workout?

People are already spending too much time indoors and that should be the reason enough to alter the things.

Among other reasons why you should consider outdoor cardio activities are also proven mental health benefits from spending more time in nature.

We all need vitamin D (it’s actually a hormone) – and probably more than we even think – that means you should use every opportunity you have to go out and soak in the sun.

If you have a limited amount of time you can dedicate to your workouts during a day or a week. Then we’d definitely recommend you to get out and do your cardio routine somewhere in nature.

Reshaping Your Workout Routine Will Make You Progress More Easily

Another good reason for changing the usual routine and getting out of the gym would have to involve the general recommendation to restyle and reshape your workouts from time to time.

Human bodies adapt to things and situations tremendously fast, which means that your exercise routine is probably stunting your progress if it’s lasting for too long.

For example, if you’re running on a treadmill or using a stationary bike at the gym. Chances are you won’t have the same results you would if you were performing these activities outside.

That’s why professional athletes use gyms only when they can’t train outside. Due to bad weather conditions, for example.

Things like wind, atmospheric pressure, and temperature all affect the results, So they need to train in conditions which resemble those at the actual competition.

Outdoor Swimming

Speaking of inability to recreate the same conditions indoors and outdoors, swimming in nature is a great example of one such cardio activity which is very different depending on the place where you workout.

Swimming in nature is a completely different thing than swimming in a pool, for many reasons. First of all, our bodies react to the type of water we’re swimming in differently.

For example, if you swim in a sea or an ocean, the water is salty and keeps you afloat by itself, but the ocean tides and currents are making things more difficult for you in return.

You need to adjust accordingly to the temperature of the water, as well as outside temperature, etc.

As far as the advantages of swimming outside go, some of them are pretty obvious. Chances are that you’ll swim more casually and freely in nature than you would have if you were swimming in the pool.

There are no crowded lanes in nature, and you can swim at your own pace. Not to mention that salty water, for instance, is highly beneficial for your overall health.

Cycling In Nature

Another great example of an awesome cardio routine that you can perform outside is cycling.

It doesn’t matter which style you end up favoring, a heart-pounding action is guaranteed if you hop on your favorite two-wheeler.

Cycling is one of the best ways to improve your overall cardiovascular performance. You’ll manage your weight, ward off heart disease, and improve mood – all of this while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

In case you make this a habit, and you plan on going on longer trips by bike, we’d recommend you to take care of your bicycle the right way.

In order to be prepared for any unpredictable or unforeseeable circumstances.

On top of this, we’d also advise you to think about investing in cycling clothing, since dressing properly can help you bike more easily. Make rides more enjoyable, and prevent possible problems or injuries at the same time.

So, whether you decide to bike casually through the city, or you’re more into some intense workouts that involve frequent adrenaline rushes (mountain biking will give you this, without a doubt).

We believe that cycling is one of the best cardio workouts you can do outside. It also works your legs, core, shoulders, and triceps along the way.


Many people wrongly associate hiking with a simple walk in the woods. And although even this can be a great cardio workout, hiking can also be much more.

Depending on the surface – if it’s completely flat, moderately or completely steep, you’ll get different results. You can plan your workout routine in advance with a little bit of research prior to going.

Ask around about the nearby hiking terrain and decide which hike trail suits you the best. If you’re just a beginner, maybe you should consider starting slow and hiking on a surface that’s not too steep or narrow.

This way you can build your conditioning up slowly, and get ready for some serious challenges.

In case there are no steep hike trails nearby, you can always go at a faster pace, providing yourself a good cardio workout nonetheless.

And if this also gets too easy, there are other challenges as well: try hiking with a full backpack on, and you’ll most definitely feel the burn.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing may not seem at first like a serious cardio workout, but once you try doing it while measuring the time needed to complete the climb, it certainly becomes a great way to get fit overall.

Being one of the best all-around, full-body workouts, rock climbing can give you an outdoor experience of a lifetime. Find the spot with a nice view, and start your adventure as soon as possible.

After a day of climbing, you’ll feel that your whole body has been working out, as you’ll probably have muscle-aches all over.

Your arms, legs, shoulders, back – you name it – there’s a good chance all of these will get sore from rock climbing, even if you exercise these muscle groups regularly in the gym.

In case you get rather serious about rock climbing, you’ll also have a chance to explore the world while visiting the countries with all the popular rock climbing sites. Maybe you’ll even become a huge success story like this guy, you never know.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

This one’s also maybe a bit unusual, but stand-up paddleboarding is actually great for improving cardiovascular endurance and represents a great full-body workout that can (must?) be performed outdoors.

If you’ve tried stand-up paddleboarding before, you know just how hard it can be to maintain the balance at all times.

You have to concentrate on staying afloat and standing up while you paddle across the water. This means that you’re using multiple muscle groups to achieve this.

Your whole body struggles to give you enough balance, which means that your legs and core are actively engaged all the time while you’re moving.

Your shoulders, back, and arms are working out constantly as well – otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to move across the water. And the faster you go, the more cardio you do.

Organized Sports

We’ve saved the last spot for organized sports since a lot of people enjoy being more engaged in any kind of sports activities with others, rather than going out solo.

If you already have a group of friends with whom you play some kind of sports indoors regularly, consider suggesting them to change things a bit and to go outside.

There’s no reason why you would rather play these sports (be it basketball, football, rugby, or whatever) indoors when you can all enjoy all the perks of spending time outside.

Running around the court or in a field will give you a good cardio workout wherever you are, there’s no doubt about it.

But the truth is that you can make your daily or weekly meetings even more healthy and interesting by opting to go out in nature.

Fresh air, the sun, trees, plants, flowers, birds chirping – all of these are extremely beneficial for your mental and physical health.

The Bottom Line

In case you’re looking to change things up a bit and move away from your regular gym/ indoor workout routine, we’d strongly recommend you to use every opportunity to go outside and perform these activities in nature, whenever possible.

This way you’ll not only get a great cardio workout and stay in good physical shape, but you’ll also benefit from being in nature in other ways.

You’ll breathe the fresh air, soak in the sun, unwind in a more relaxing atmosphere. You’ll also avoid overcrowded spaces, doing things at your own pace.

Although this list is in no way conclusive, we gave you 6 outdoors activities that you can perform either alone or in a group with others, depending on your liking.

These are outdoor swimming, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, and organized sports.

Whatever you decide to pursue or try from this list, contact your physician prior to engaging in any kind of activity and make sure you’re safe and properly equipped.

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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