Looking to spice up your routine? Well today I am going to tell you why training outdoors might be a great option for you and share with you a few of my favorite ways to train.

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Was this you all winter?

I absolutely love when it gets warm out.  It means I can come out of hibernation and get back to do things outside like golf, grilling, and working out.

Training outside has many benefits.  One being getting vitamin D from the sun.  You can also kill two birds with one stone by getting fit and working on that killer tan (I can already here my mom telling me to just make sure I wear sunscreen).

Training outside can add a new level of freshness to your routine.  No one ever said your training had to be all work and no play.  The change in scenery can make your workout feel less like a work by turning the world into your playground.

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Getting outside also provides me with so much more room for activities, and no we are not talking about aerobics and step class either.  I love the freedom to be able to move.  The more space I have the cooler things I feel like I am able to do.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to train outside.

Swimming

Swimming is a great workout conditioning workout that will also hit muscles you didn’t even know you had.  For people who suffers from joint pain this might be a great option for you as the water takes some of the weight of your joints.

Plus it’s a great excuse to get to the beach….and who doesn’t love the beach.

Kettlebells

My old friends.  I love these things partly because I can take them anywhere.  I drag them outside all the time for killer workouts anywhere.  I even sneak one or two with me on vacation so I can stay on top of my training.

Sleds

Sleds are a great tool that builds amazing strength and conditioning, but require a lot of space to use them.  I love pushing them, dragging them, pulling them.

Sleds can do much more than just lower body movements.  Add a handle to it and now you can work upper body exercises like rows, presses, curls, etc.  On top of that you can even combine the two and perform full body movements for a whole new level of suck.  One of my favorites examples of this is the explosive rows.

Usually sleds are big and bulky, but I love the magic carpet sled from Spud Inc. because they are light weight, and can fold up making it easy to store and take wherever it is you want to train.

TRX

The TRX originated as a way for Navy SEALs to train while out on a long mission.  This is why it is light weight and transportable and also hooks around anything that can hold you.

Because the TRX allows you to move in some unique ways.  There are countless ways you can twist your body, while at the same time staying focused on stabilizing your joints and core.  This is a great tool for anyone looking to build strength and lose weight with body weight movements, but this tool can really help tennis players or golfers improve their game my mimicking movement patterns of their sport.

Sprints

Sprints suck, but they are great muscle builders and fat burners.  I often like to throw these in on leg days as conditioning/accessory work.

Sprints are equal to heavy lifting when it comes to intensity.  Heavy lifting and sprints both require a max effort and because of that really taxes the central nervous system.  That is why they are so effective in building muscle and burning fat.

Make your sprints extra spicy by finding a nice steep hill to sprint up.  This will really crank up the fat burning and muscle building process.

Walks/hikes

Walking and hiking are at the other end of the intensity spectrum than sprinting, yet very effective form of exercise.

Walking and hiking are great for conditioning, active recovery, and fat loss (even more so than jogging).  I also find walking to be very relaxing and helps me to clear my head and just enjoy the outdoors.

If you want to spice up your walk wear a weighted vest.  This will challenge your back, core and leg muscles like you wouldn’t believe.

Carries

Loaded carries are awesome, and being outside gives you enough space to carry as far as your heart desires.

Carries provide strength and conditioning all thrown into one simple thing.  Pick up something light and see how fast it takes for you to go a long distance, or pick up something heavy and go for a short distance.

There are really no wrong ways to do this.  Double arm, single arm, farmers, waiters, over head, mixed carries.  It’s all up to you.

Yoga

Doing yoga is already relaxing for both the mind and the body.  But there is something about doing it outside that relaxes the body even more and really let’s you become with nature.

Play ground

Playgrounds aren’t just for kids.  They make for great gyms.

I love showing up to the playground around the corner from my house with random equipment like resistance bands or my TRX.  Sometimes I’ll show up with no equipment at all and just make a workout up on the spot using things like monkey bars for pull ups and a park bench for dips.

Using only the environment around makes things  fun, challenging me to be creative, functional and different than the normal routine.  Give it a go.  It will be interesting to see what kind of things you can come up with.

Games

Workouts don’t always have to be structured and tedious.

In fact breaking from the structure can help keep us fresh.  Whether it be golf, tennis, baseball, softball, basketball etc just get outside and have some fun.

Personally I play rugby sevens over the summer and consider that my conditioning workouts.  Nothing too complicated just running around with my friends and having some fun.  Plus I like the feeling of using my fitness for something.

Do you have a cool way you like to workout outside that we missed?  We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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