With endless options for trail intensity, hiking is a powerful outdoor workout that anyone can add to their fitness routine. If you have any joint issues and need low impact fitness options, you can search for nature preserves or urban trails in your town or city. And if you’re an adventure nut, you can always take a short drive to find a moderate-to-intense nearby trail with a scenic view in a state or national park to provide the ultimate cardio workout. For those looking to take up hiking for the health benefits, hiking can lower your risk for heart disease, improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and bone density. According to WebMD, hiking can also build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs, strengthen your core, improve balance, and help control your weight and mood.
2. Paddle Boarding
If you’re a water lover, there’s nothing more fun than a day of stand up paddle boarding, also known as SUP. Again, if you have any joint issues with your knees or hips, paddle boarding makes for a great low impact workout that provides a gentle workout to strengthen muscles. But don’t let the low intensity fool you. SUP is a full body workout that works the legs, requiring the use of your center of gravity, while the arms, back and shoulders are used to propel the paddle board. All the while, the core, back and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance. And when you factor in the mental boost from being in nature, SUP provides a great workout for both the mind and body.
If you’d rather keep your workout grounded on land, cycling is a classic outdoor activity guaranteed to improve your fitness level. While peddling, cycling raises your heart rate and gets the blood pumping, which makes it a great aerobic workout benefiting the heart, brain, and blood vessels. Getting in a great aerobic workout is also a great way to cut your risk of developing major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. And if those weren’t enough reasons to dust off your bike, cycling also helps to build muscle and bone. If you’re just starting to add cycling to your workout routine, try hitting an urban bike trail through your city or town. And if you need something more challenging, mountain biking is an intense workout that also allows you to enjoy nature. Feeling motivated yet?
4. Kick Scooting
Depending on where you live, you may have seen - or be one of - the many electric scooters around town. While super fun, if you want to build scooting into your fitness lifestyle, try some good-old-fashioned kick scooting. No longer an activity for kids zipping through the neighborhood, kick scooting provides a lot the same health benefits of cycling. Propelled by the lower body, this unlikely activity targets the calf, knee, thighs, and back muscles. In addition to providing a great workout, scooters can be folded up for storage - a great perk for those living in smaller spaces. And its easy to add scooting to your daily commute, which means you can get a great workout while in route to work.