No matter how it’s done, physical activity is healthy for the mind and the body. However, some fresh air exercises have certain unique benefits. First of all, it does wonders for your mood and relieves stress. Aside from that, it also helps keep your cardiovascular health and joints in good shape.
When most people think of working outdoors, they think of running first. While running, jogging, or sprinting is an amazing exercise, it’s also high-impact and harsh on your joints. Many fun-filled fresh air exercises don’t involve running but still offer a fantastic workout.
In this article, we put together the top 5 fresh air workouts that aren’t running, listed below!
Both kayaking and canoeing are low-impact workouts that can significantly improve your flexibility, strength, and aerobic fitness.
With that, kayaking also has a range of other health benefits including:
- Better cardiovascular health
- Improved strength especially in the chest, shoulders, arms, and the back
- Increased leg and torso strength
- Reduced wear-tear in tissues and joints
Apart from that, kayaking is a fun-filled activity that is suitable for people of all ages. It can also be a meditative and stress-relieving experience for many people.
To start kayaking, you can join a local kayaking club to get the required training. Even though it’s standard to wear lifejackets while on the water (PeacefulPaddle.com has a great article with the life preserver laws in every state), for safety reasons, you must also learn to swim first.
Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity that’s become increasingly popular over the last few years. Since heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity is on the rise, experts suggest people try mountain biking every weekend.
It has a range of benefits that include better heart health, reduced joint stress, reduced risk of diabetes, and improved mood.
With that, experts have also found that people who regularly go on mountain biking trips tend to perform better on mental tests. In specific, improvement has been seen in the hippocampus or the part of the brain associated with learning and forming new memories.
Duvine discusses in their blog how cycling aids in brain development by increasing oxygen levels sent to the brain. The brain is able to grow both more grey matter and white matter, which helps it work more quickly and dynamically. Not only does mountain biking improve neural performances, but it could also help keep diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay.
Apart from kayaking and mountain biking, cross-country skiing is yet another popular outdoor workout activity. In this, skiers rely on their body’s strength to balance themselves against the action of gravity when they are going down-hill.
Overall, experts consider skiing as a full-body workout. After all, it affects both the upper and lower body at the same time.
With that, experts also suggest that skiing can burn a lot of calories. For instance, vigorous skiing for an hour can burn up to 1122 calories. Hence, it is a great exercise for those who want to shed some weight.
Lastly, it also has a good impact on heart health. In a way, it is a great aerobic exercise that does not leave any muscle stressed. Hence, skiers can go on for hours without getting tired.
Swimming is a low-impact, full-body workout that is also suitable for people who suffer from joint ailments and cannot perform high impact exercises, like running.
Just because swimming is low-impact, doesn’t mean you won’t get an intense workout. Swimming is one of the best exercises for maintaining:
- A healthy heart
- Improved lung health
- A healthy weight
According to Harvard Health, swimming is one of the best exercises for heart health and is associated with improved blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as maximum energy output for cardiovascular health.
If you love water-based activities, then you would certainly fall in love with surfing too. It is another of the spring and summer seasons most popular sports.
With that, it also has some unique benefits that include improvement in confidence, relief from stress, and better overall health.
So, in the summer season, consider getting the relevant training that will help you get started with surfing.