The Benefits of Outdoor Workouts

Are you ready to be the best version of you? Whether you’re a fitness guru, or a fresh face to world of health and movement, this column is your new home (gym). You can expect articles, photos and videos on sports nutrition, optimal weight and energy! As a certified nutritional practitioner and personal trainer who has worked with professional athletes, Olympians and celebrities, I’m ready to share my unique approach to health and fitness to help you thrive.

Summer is definitely my favorite time of year. A mixture of warmth and sunlight makes me want to spend every moment I can outdoors. Being able do outdoor workouts during the warmer months in Toronto definitely has its advantages, other than getting a nice glow!

Recently I took my regular cycling routine and turned it into a weekend endurance ride where I spend anywhere from 1 to 4 hours cycling. This has become very therapeutic for me in many ways, both riding in a group and riding alone.

Here are my top reasons to train outside, and a quick workout routine you can do anywhere!

outdoor workout

1. Fresh air

I truly believe and have experienced myself, that training outdoors and taking in fresh oxygen allows my body to train more efficiently. I find a huge difference in my energy levels when I work out outside (especially surrounded by trees) versus training in an air conditioned or heated gym. You can take advantage of fresh air and training outside by playing going to a park, lake or ocean and walk, jog, Frisbee or volleyball. The options are limitless! Be creative and find a friend, family member or partner and discover a type of movement you enjoy outdoors!

2. Group workouts

One thing I have recently seen pop-up in many communities is outdoor group workouts. I find that meeting a group to train is extremely motivating and empowering. You know what they say, “you are who you surround yourself with”. If that’s the case, surround yourself with active and healthy people to inspire you to be even better. 

There are endless opportunities to get outside and sweat for all levels. Look for group workouts in your city: outdoor yoga, park bootcamps, baseball, soccer, volleyball and more. Check out your local newspaper, gyms, yoga studios and social amateur athletic clubs.

outdoor workouts

3. Opportunity to DIY

If you’re not into group workouts, or would rather just gather a group of your close friends for a sweat session, use my go-to quick, efficient full-body routine you can do anywhere.

Perform each exercise for 10 to 12 reps all the way through, and repeat 3 to 4 times.

Warm up: Jumping Jacks or jogging (5 minutes)

  1. Squats: Squat down at a 90 degree angle, like you’re sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees do not go over your toes.
  2. Push-ups: Keep your core tight and have your chest graze the floor.
  3. Triceps dips: Using a bench or chair dip down with straight legs, to 90 degree bend in your elbow and push yourself back up to straight arms.
  4. Lunges: (10 per leg) Place your hands on your hips and lunge one leg forward to 90 degrees while your back leg and knee graze the ground.
  5. Burpees: Jump up with your arms reaching for the sky. Transition to hands on the ground, legs and feet back to a plank position. Optional push-up. Tuck legs back in towards elbows and jump back up to the sky!
  6. Plank and side planks: Hold as long as possible.
  7. Ab bicycle: Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, reach your opposite elbow to knee and then switch, for a total of 10-12 reps per side.

Don’t forget to stretch!

It’s time to get out and enjoy the weather, meet new people and switch up your training. I practice what I preach, and have seen positive results from training outdoors and hope to inspire you to do the same.

What’s your favorite activity to do outdoors?

Written by: Jessica Morris

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