Move your workout to the outdoors to enjoy the warm and sunny days of summer!

Changing up your exercise routine is wonderful for your body and mind. The benefits include:

  • Outdoor Workouts to do This Summer by Erin Clifford Wellness Coach - ChicagoBeating the boredom of the same old workout
  • Building new muscles
  • Meeting new workout partners
  • Breaking through a weight loss plateau
  • Learning new exercise activities to fire up the neurons in your brain
  • And (Bonus!) getting excited about doing something different!

Are you ready to get outdoors? Here are seven outdoor workouts to do this summer.

Mat Work – Yoga, Pilates, and Stretching

You don’t have to find (or pay for) an outdoor yoga or mat Pilates class to get outside. Find a streaming class from the millions of choices online, and take your mat and laptop outside – whether it’s your backyard or a park or a beach – and practice your class in nature. If you still want to run on your indoor treadmill, change up your routine by doing your pre- and post-stretching outside.


No exercise is as refreshing as swimming in the summer. Whether it’s in a pool, lake, or ocean, a good swim promotes shedding fat and gaining lean muscle. Treading water or taking a water aerobics class can also help you tone your body with very low impact.


Grab your dog and your friend and hit the trails. A good rule of thumb is to look up information about your local trails to estimate the length, time, and difficulty level so you know what you’re in for. Exercising with a friend in a beautiful outdoor setting can almost feel more like a get together than a workout!

Paddleboard or Kayaking

Stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are serene activities that will give you an excellent workout. If you live near a lake or ocean, try renting or borrowing equipment to ensure that the activity is something you like to do. If you’ve never done either of these activities, it’s wise to do them the first time with an experienced buddy or an instructor.

Outdoor Gym Classes

Since the pandemic, many gyms and fitness instructors have gotten very creative in where they offer classes – you may find a HIIT class in a park or a yoga class at the beach. Challenge yourself to try a different outdoor workout class each week.

Walking, Jogging or Running

These exercises are oldies, but goodies! Whether you prefer to walk, jog, or run, take your workout off the treadmill and into the great outdoors. Use an app to map out different routes each day to explore your city and beyond.

Outdoor Games

Pickleball, tennis and volleyball are wonderful ways to work up some sweat! Sign up for a group class through your community center or local club. Recruit friends to play with you! If you want to do something low key, organize a softball or kickball game with your friends at a playground or park, followed by a potluck of healthy food. You may be surprised at how big the turnout is!

Remember to be smart about your outdoor exercises to prevent heat exhaustion and sunburn. Check the weather beforehand, eat a healthy pre-workout snack, pack your water, wear a hat and apply sunscreen (here’s why), and, most importantly, have fun!

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