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Outdoor fitness fans benefit from fresh air and plenty of sunshine. Various sports and fitness activities are held outdoors. From individual training with weights to group circuit training classes, outdoor fitness provides plenty of opportunities for sport.
Types of Outdoor Fitness
The following fitness workouts, activities, and sports are held exclusively outdoors or as well as out in open-air and indoors.
High-Intensity Interval training is a popular type of outdoor fitness workout. It requires training with an elevated heart rate. Short sprints, push-ups, training with weights, and even with battle ropes define this type of intense training. It comes with plenty of benefits such as training in fresh air which allows better breathing and enhanced cool-down capacity as opposed to indoor HIIT training.
Bootcamp is a type of intense workout specific to the military. It requires participants to train in circuit workouts often combining weights and cardiovascular exercises. This type of workout tends to be physically and mentally demanding. If boot camps are now also held indoors, it’s a type of activity that was started outdoors.
Classic circuit training can be considered outdoors. Designing a circuit for endurance and strength is easier outdoors due to having access to more space and being out in fresh air. Circuit training is ideal for conditioning.
Yoga practised outdoors is ideal for relaxation out in nature. Individual and group yoga classes can be held outdoors depending on the weather. Yoga resorts are among the first locations where the relaxing activity can be organized outside.
Pilates is like yoga as it’s based on low impact exercises that strengthen muscles. Most Pilates classes are held indoors but training outdoors has its perks if it’s not in cold weather.
Hiking is a type of activity outdoor fans love. Hiking is normally tied to good weather and hikers can walk for hours and even up to a day. Outdoor fitness enthusiasts prioritize hiking among the main activities that don’t involve training inside.
Outdoor bike riding is ideal for better cardiovascular endurance and sightseeing. Spin classes offer an indoor alternative when the weather isn’t perfect. Benefits of cycling outdoors include the ability to breathe fresh air and to cover more distances and seeing varied terrains.
Beach volleyball is mostly held outdoors. Tied to summer sports, beach volleyball is an Olympic sport. It can be considered among the most intensive outdoor team sports as you cannot play volleyball by yourself.
Outdoor swimming is characteristic of pools, rivers, seas, and oceans. Swimmers can go for a swim on their own. However, outdoor swimming is known for being highly demanding on the body. Therefore it’s often a stage in triathlons and similar high physical endurance competitions.
Rowing is one of the most pleasant full-body workouts. Outdoor rowing can be based on rowing machines or rowing in kayaks on rivers and canals. The benefits of outdoor rowing include training with a partner as many kayaks support multiple team members. Since rowing works all muscles it’s a type of outdoor fitness workout ideal for weight loss and toning.
Outdoor aerobics is ideal for large classes. It allows better distancing between participants. It also offers benefits such as the ability to breathe fresh air instead of breathing recycled or cooled air indoors.
4 Common Outdoor Fitness Mistakes
Training outdoors has its benefits. But it should not be directly compared to the results of indoor training. Other common fitness mistakes when training outdoors includes.
- Not assessing the impact of terrain on endurance
The terrain with its uphill and downhill adventures as well as elevation impact how you train outdoors. A HIIT session at a high altitude feels more difficult than a similar session at a regular altitude. High-altitude training is the first limiting factor when it comes to training high up in the mountains. The same applies to other types of outdoor fitness. Running on a treadmill can feel highly different to running up and down trails even on small slopes.
- Not considering proper fitness clothes according to weather conditions
When you train indoors you benefit from controlled temperature and training conditions. Gym clothes are almost always the same. This doesn’t apply to outdoor training where you’re highly dependent on weather conditions. You need to adopt the right clothes for running and training when you’re out of the gym or out of the house.
Layering is the only true method of dressing correctly for outdoor fitness. Multiple polyester and spandex layers are ideal as they dry fast and because you can put them on and take them off easily.
Different shoes are also required when training outdoors. Runners need proper traction running shoes. Even those who lift weights outdoors need shoes that are up for the task and that last longer due to higher friction with high abrasion surfaces unlike the smooth floors at the gym.
- Comparing indoor and outdoor fitness results
Indoor and outdoor fitness personal records can vary. You might be able to perform at a high level indoors to find out personal records aren’t even close to the outdoor physical performance. The big mistake runners make is to consider treadmill running results the same as outdoor running results.
- Skipping minimal health and safety measures
Training outdoors also comes with its challenges. From dealing with fallen branches on running trails to dealing with traffic when training next to a busy road, outdoor fitness fans need to plan their workout and location differently. The same applies to individual outdoor sports such as road cycling, which is dependent on traffic, unlike spinning which is always indoors.
Outdoor fitness has multiple benefits. It allows you to train in the fresh air and it also comes with wide-open spaces which offer more training locations. Outdoor fitness can be ideal when carefully planned.
However, it’s often more demanding on training clothes and it’s also highly dependent on weather. You need to adapt training clothes to the outdoor activity and check the weather for a successful outdoor workout.