11 Outdoor Exercises That’ll Crush Your Gym Workout


As the mercury rises burning calories gets a lot more fun. No longer limited to exercising in doors, the options get a lot more plentiful and varied. Working out doesn’t have to feel like working out. The gym is great. But lets face it, while you may enjoy going to the gym, you wouldn’t exactly call it fun. Taking your workout outside and trying some warm-weather activities, allows you to burn calories, whilst having a good time.

Research suggests that exercising outdoors is linked with good things such as greater vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, self-esteem, and lower levels of stress hormone cortisol and less bad things such as tension, depression, and fatigue. Importantly, it seems that if you exercise outside, you’re also more likely to exercise longer. And it makes sense. If you’re outdoors, breathing fresh air, enjoying natural sunlight, you’re not going to be in a rush to finish and get back inside. And if that wasn’t enough good news, taking your workout outdoors can increase your calorie burn, due to factors such as uneven terrain, wind and fluctuating outdoor temperature.

Mixing up your routine has another upside; catching some rays means you’re topping up on vital Vitamin D, which has a bevy a health benefits, one of which is the role it plays in weight loss (in fact there’s an entire book on Vitamin D and weight loss called theThe Vitamin D Diet).

Here’s a list of outdoor activities that boast a massive calorie-burn, tone and strengthen muscles, and will put your gym workout to shame. And remember, just because you’re having fun, doesn’t mean you’re not burning calories!

All activities are calculated for a 150-pound woman performing the activity for 30 minutes, though most of these activities are likely to be of longer duration.

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight

Cycling/ Biking

Biking is a simple, fun and effective way to get a great workout.

Moving your workout from a spinning class to the great outdoors has its benefits; time passes much faster and in terms of effort tends feels easier, due to the pleasant distraction of scenery.

Cycling outdoors also works the glutes (butt muscles), hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves harder than indoor cycling.

A practical advantage of biking is that you can use it for more than just exploring new neighborhoods, parks, trails or bike paths, but can use it as a mode of transport to get from point A to B, such as commuting to work.

Calories burnt: Pedal off the pounds by burning about 240 calories, and even more mountain biking.

Beach volleyball

Beach volley makes for an awesome full body workout that targets and tones the legs, arms, shoulders and abs. During a game you’re continuously on the move, changing direction, squatting, diving, jumping, serving or hitting. You’re also moving on sand, which is more difficult and boosts calorie burn further.

Calorie burn: Incredibly, beach volleyball burns about 290 calories, which is basically equal to that of running at 5 mph (or a 12 minute mile).

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight

Snorkeling/ Scuba Diving

If you’re lucky enough to take a beach vacation, or are even luckier still and actually live near the beach, snorkelling or scuba diving can make for the most fun and entertaining of workouts – if you even call it that (it may be just too fun to qualify!). These activities combine both cardio and strength training, burning a ton of calories while tightening and toning the body.

Snorkeling and scuba diving offer the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, minus the strain, sweat, stress, and discomfort of a typical workout. And because you have to work hard to push against the resistance of water (water is hundreds of times more dense than air) to move forward, it also really works the butt, thighs, hips, back and abs. To move powerfully and efficiently through the water, you intrinsically adapt and streamline your body by engaging your core, glute and back muscles; you also kick from the hip, rather than from the knee (like you do when you’re swimming). Using fins increases the resistance forcing your legs to work even harder to move through the water.

Snorkeling and scuba diving allow you enter an entirely different world. With only the sound of your breath, it is a calming, quiet, infinitely relaxing, and beautiful world, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What more could you ask for?

Calories burnt: Snorkeling burns about 170 calories per

Surfing/ Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Surfing isn’t the biggest calorie burner to make the list, but it’s probably the coolest.

Surfing is exhilarating and makes for a great full body workout, working the core, legs and arms. Surfing does take time to learn, and isn’t for the faint of heart.

So enter stand-up paddle boarding. Just as cool, less intimidating and way easier to learn, paddle boarding burns at least double the calories of surfing. Also, unlike surfing, you’re not limited to the ocean and can paddle board on natural or man-made lakes. Paddle boarding is a tough workout requiring balance, as well as upper-body and core strength.

Calories burnt: Surfing burns about 100 calories, while stand-up paddle boarding burns more than double, coming in at about 250 calories.

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight

Running/ Jogging

Move your running workout outside. You wont just enjoy the surroundings, but’ll burn more calories, challenge your muscles more and according to some studies may even run faster.

The uneven ground works the muscles harder, which along with wind resistance means you’ll burn more calories. You can increase the difficulty of your run by planning a route that incorporates flat, uphill, and downhill terrain to stimulate as many muscles as possible. You do need to a pair of running shoes designed for outdoor running. If you’re new to running, use abeginner running plan  and check out this infographic onrunning form.

Calorie burn: Running burns about 290 calories at a pace of 5 mph (a 12-minute mile).


Okay, so walking might not seem exactly groundbreaking. The point is walking is easy, simple and effective. If you’re not a runner or don’t want to be a runner, walking is an excellent way of squeezing in some exercise. You can make walking your main workout or just consider walking a bonus.

You can go for one long walk or break it down into smaller, more manageable spurts that incorporate it info your daily life (e.g. walk the kids to school, run errands on foot, go for a stroll after dinner).

There are many ways to make walking a challenging, fat-busting workout. Check out this article on how to lose weight walking.

Calories burnt: A brisk walk burns about 135 calories.

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight


Ahh tennis, the sport of kings. This summer don’t just watch those gorgeous tennis players sweat it out on the court, pick up a racket and challenge a friend or neighbour to a game. Tennis is a serious calorie-burner, and calls for repeated bouts of high intensity activity (read more about HIIThere). Tennis also tones the arms, shoulders and back, and is a heap of fun whether you’re an ace or a novice.

Calories burnt: Tennis burns about 270 calories and improves speed, co-ordination, and balance. Incredibly, on average people cover between 3 and 5 miles during the course of a match.


Who doesn’t love swimming in the summer? Swimming can be much more than just refreshing and fun, it can also make for an incredible full-body cardiovascular workout that works all the major muscle groups.

Swimming is especially wonderful if you have joint issues that mean you find weight-bearing exercises difficult. Water’s buoyancy cushions stiff joints and fragile bones, bearing most of the body’s weight and leaving you feeling light and agile.

Swimming can help to tone, strengthen, and condition the body without the jarring effects of other activities. And because water is nearly 800 times more dense than air, affording water 12 times the resistance of air – and you have to move your body through it – it’s an awesome combination of cardiovascular and strength-building exercise. The best way to torch calories swimming is by alternating intense bursts of exercise with short periods recovery, i.e. high intensity interval training.

Calories burnt: Swimming can burn about 270 calories.

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight

In-line skating/ Rollerblading

If you’re after a Brazilian butt, rollerblading/ in-line skating is your workout of choice. Rollerblading targets the butt muscles (glutes), back of thighs and inner thighs, to firm, tone and tighten, all the while burning a mass of calories. To get the most out of your rollerblading workout aim for a brisk pace. If you’re a beginner, start slowly and as you grow in skill and confidence, build the pace and duration of your workout.

Calories burnt: At a brisk pace you can burn about 250 calories.


Another great combination of strength-building and cardiovascular exercise, hiking can burn nearly as many calories as jogging. Although hiking can be challenging and you can get a good sweat going, it’s also relaxing, offering the calming sights and sounds of nature, and providing a wonderful break from the stresses of day-to-day life. Hiking works the butt, legs and abs, as well as building cardiovascular endurance. To really target those muscles and burn a ton of calories, choose hiking territory with some hilly terrain. If you’re a beginner start with shorter, relatively easy hikes and build on difficulty and distance as you become more experienced and fit.

Calories burnt: Hiking can burn about 220 calories.

Best outdoor exercise to lose weight

Kayaking/ Rowing

Move your gym workout onto water. Rowing and kayaking make for challenging cardiovascular workouts. If you’ve ever used the rowing machine in the gym, you know how difficult a workout it can be. Rowing and kayaking work the arms, shoulders, back and core muscles. Unlike the gym there is a lot more incentive to keep going than just to break a sweat. Rowing or kayaking on a lake, river or bay makes for a wonderful and scenic outing, and is just about as far away from the hustle and bustle of the rat-race as you can get.

Calorie burn: Kayaking and rowing burn about 250 calories.




source: Super skinny me 


Categories: Health|Fitness

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