Best Summer Workouts Outside of the Gym!


summer-workouts-weight-loss
More often than not, I wish I could lose weight without having to go to the gym, and though there's no magical way to do it, there are several activities that can easily act as effective summer workouts, and as you are mostly having fun while doing these, you don't even realize that its a workout! Whether you need to stretch those tired muscles, increase flexibility, or burn calories and seriously lose some weight, there are tonnes of summer workouts to choose from. And with the added benefit of doing these in fresh air, enjoying the summer heat, the trees and the mountains, and the sheer joy of being one with nature, you are more likely to attain better results than burning calories running on your treadmill at the gym!

Jogging/Running
Jogging is an excellent exercise for losing weight, because it consumes calories at a rapid rate. Combined with eating less, this guarantees an efficient weight loss. Plus, there's no special skill required; just get into your running shoes and choose a nice jogging-path along a trail or in a park and you won't even fell like you are exercising! Listening to an iPod would work too, but I find it better to observe birds and trees as I run, especially during my lapse around the lake. Running improves co-ordination between your muscles, and makes your leg-muscles wotk well. It also helps increase hear-rate, exercising the heart and the lungs at the same time. Those who run regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age, and it also helps lower your blood-pressure, as well as maintain elasticity of your arteries. But if you have aches and joint-pains, like knee-problems or weak ankles, make sure to consult a doctor before you start running, so as to prevent injuries. Also, invest in comfortable running shoes, and make sure to choose a proper running track and avoid bumpy, un-even ground to prevent physical damage.

Biking/Cycling
Cycling (img credit) is a great fun summer activity that is especially enjoyable when done with kids. Biking is one of the most effective exercises to shed off those extra calories and exercise your legs, abs, thighs and butt. Even a small amount of cycling would be good enough to boost your metabolism level, thereby helping your weight loss program. It helps to improve the overall balance and coordination, minimizes the risk of coronary heart disease and helps in preventing health problems like strokes, diabetes and cancer. It also keeps your blood pressure under control, as well as build stamina and endurance. If you choose a bike path with elevation, you can be sure to burn some serious calories, and have muscular, well-toned legs! but in the least, its a great way to exercise without a lot of stress, especially if you choose to keep it light.

Rowing/Kayaking
Rowing is a great aerobic exercise for total body workout, as it involves use of many muscles of the arms, legs, abdomen, and torso. Also, it has minimal stress effects on back and body, as opposed to running or cycling. Those who love water sports should definitely try to go rowing or kayaking in a nice lake or a bay. Of course, the more adventurous people seeking a real workout can go into the sea and try rowing against the waves, which will burn a large number of calories in a short amount of time. While Rowing, lean back from your hips while pushing back with your legs and torso. Bend your arms as you pull on the oars until your elbows pass behind your chest and the handles are an inch from your stomach, keeping your back straight the entire time. Kayaking is one of my favorite activities, especially during summer, as most of the camp-sites have lakes or inland bays that offer a great view and a great workout!


Hiking/Trekking
Taking short and scenic hikes in summer may be the best way to enjoy nature and increase fitness at the same time. Research has shown that Hiking or Trekking can stem heart disease, decrease hypertension by dilating blood vessels, decrease cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (the good cholesterol), decrease weight by burning calories, and prevent ageing of the immune system. Hiking also alleviates osteoporosis by improving bone density; If that's not enough reasons to hike, walking at a comfortable pace while taking in fresh air improves and maintains mental health by producing calming brain chemicals called endorphins, which basically act as mild tranquilizers. but more than that, you'll achieve a sense of satisfaction when you hike up to a mountain peak and look down below to see how much you came up, that is, after you've explored the breath-taking views from a mountain-top!

Outdoor Sports
Tennis and Volleyball are the two perfect outdoor sports for summer. Playing Tennis for an hour thrice a week can do wonders to your body, both physically and mentally. It builds flexibility, muscle co-ordination, agility, stamina and acts as a great aerobic and anaerobic activity. Studies have shown that competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics, inline skating, jogging or cycling. Volleyball works great too, and is definitely more fun; even if you may not burn as many calories as with Tennis, its easier to hook up a net on the beach of in a shaded park and get some physical exercise alongwith loads of fun. Golf is another sports which can act as a nice workout, provided you don't use a golf cart throughout your 18 holes! It also makes the mind more alert and improves eye-sight and judgement.

Swimming/Water Aerobics
Swimming uses almost all of your major muscle groups, and it places a vigorous demand on your heart and lungs. The major advantage of swimming is that its an overall body exercise, and it boosts your metabolism. When your metabolic rate goes up, you burn more calories. And more calories burned means faster weight loss. Swimming is not as effective for weight-loss as running or cycling, because when you are in the pool you don't heat up and sweat as much as you do on land, and your body does not have to work hard to cool you down as much once the exercise session concludes. Also, you feel more hungry after a swim-session than after a gym-session, so you might tend to eat more. So the post-workout effect of swimming is lesser than that of other activities. neverthless, Swimming helps builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness, without being harsh on your joints; lots of people have found swimming to be a form of meditation too when you just let your body relax and swim with a very low effort.

Its imperative to be conscious about keeping yourself fit, and though nothing can replace a complete workout at the gym, summer is a time when you can choose certain activities that other seasons do not offer, so make the best use of it! Choose physical activities that you enjoy and that are readily accessible. Remember, any kind of exercise gives maximum results when you enjoy doing it. Choosing to spend a few days outside rather than in your gym can be good for your mind, body and spirit, and you'll feel more refreshed and energised. I've done this myself, so I can vouch for it; now its your turn to try and see for yourself!

So whether you yearn to lose weight or just be fit, try the above summer workouts to augment your fitness routine at the gym, and experience the difference!

Related Articles:
What to Eat Before & After a Workout
How to Count Calories for Healthy Weight-Loss
10 Tips to Eat Right & Stay Fit


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37 comments :

tracey said...

great article mansi! I love hiking and kayaking, that's why we do camping at least 4-5 times in summer! nothing compares to a nice hike in Yosemite!:)

~tracey

Asha said...

Great post. I don't like to jog but I am a fast walker, M. Gandhi style!!:D
Planning to hike in Smoky mountain this weekend, I am taking plenty of pain killers too!:O
See you in Sept, will miss you. Hugs!:)

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

another great fitness article by mansi!! thanks a lot, it was informative and a good read!

Ben said...

I love hiking and cycling, unfortunately my bike has been broken for a couple of years now and I haven't been able to fix it. Maybe I'll do it soon. It so much fun.

mitr_bayarea said...

Good post that follows through on the work out eating habits one. Sometimes, the heat is too much to want to do anything outside, those are the times when I prefer to workout inside the cool gym.

Anonymous said...

I like to go for fast walking than jogging. Because jogging is not good for the heart as well as for the legs. This info.is according to my doctor. So I try to fast walk atleast 4 times a week. Also I watch what I eat too.

Radha

Mansi Desai said...

thanks for your input Radha! however, I'd like to disagree with your "jogging is not goof for heart and legs" statement; maybe its specifically for you, depending on your personal body condition, but that is not a generalisation. it's always good to consult your doctor about what's good and bad for you before you take up an exercise though!

fast walking is less stress on the legs and heart, but that also means less calories burnt!:)

david said...

nice write-up! got here from KNBC's health section that features your article! I agree with your theory that one should get out of the gym and into the fresh air whenever possible; nothing is better than fresh oxygen for the mind and body!

I love biking on weekends with my kids:)

btw, you have a great blog, and I love the way you write!

-david

Mansi Desai said...

tracey - join the hiking-kayaking bandwagon!

asha - yeah, smokey mt sounds divine! will miss u too gal, and I'll be off on a vacation in Sept too!:)

ben, JZ, mitr - thanks for your input guys!

david - welcome to Fun & Food, and thanks so much for your kind words! I do try to live upto the expectations of my readers:) hehehe!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'm a huge lover of kayaking and hiking. I don't do much of them, but I have plans to do both things at least once this summer.

You left out my favorite outdoor exercise- Horseback riding! (Of course if you put in every possible activity from every reader, you would run out of space on your blog;-))

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

Mansi, instead of being the first customer at my bakery, just hire me when u start ur restaurant!! ;-)

Tee said...

Fantastic! This is just what I need to make me a little less lazy ;)

Divya Vikram said...

Great info..

Shae said...

This is so helpful. I struggle sometimes because I just feel so awkward and uncomfortable at the gym. This gives me some great options. Thanks!

rk said...

Just daily walking (brisk) for 30 mins will do wonders for the waist and tummy! I have a walking group at work and we walk twice a day on most days (unless there are deadlines of course!). Hope others can start a group like that with neighborhood friends/co-workers, it's nice to walk and talk with pals.

Dave said...

I can't deal with running. It depresses me. However a nice bike ride through some picturesque scenery is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Gabriel said...

Excellent post! Your tips are really effective workouts. I have been doing different outdoor sports every weekends such as white water rafting, mountain climbing, biking, etc. I love to do it!

megan said...

Very Nice Article. thanks for the beautiful tips.

Kara said...

Thanks a lot, it was informative and a good read! thanx again for the post.

Michelle said...

This info is according to my doctor. So I try to fast walk at least 4 times a week. Also I watch what I eat too. keep it up.

Kristen said...

I have a walking group at work and we walk twice a day on most days (unless there are deadlines of course!). Hope others can start a group like that with neighborhood friends/co-workers, it's nice to walk and talk with pals. keep it up.

Victoria said...

Well, I have been doing different outdoor sports every weekends such as white water rafting, mountain climbing, biking, thanx for the share.

Lynn said...

This is all i need, I really do need a work out. love your blog post you give tips and idea to maintain my diet.Thank you

Diane said...

Well, I have a walking group at work and we walk twice a day on most days (unless there are deadlines of course!). Hope others can start a group like that with neighborhood friends/co-workers, it's nice to walk and talk with pals. thanx for share.

Jane said...

Well, I love hiking and kayaking, that's why we do camping at least 4-5 times in summer! nothing compares to a nice hike in Yosemite. thanx for sharing.

Katie said...

Its very interesting blog, I love to jog early in the morning but sometimes I am tired to wake up early. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks

Kayla said...

Jogging and Running is very good for health. I will recommended you guys morning jogging.

Jillian said...

Great article i wanna try that all i want adventure, not just only adventure but for fun and work out that give more benefits to my body to have a healthy life style thanks for shairing..

Jennifer said...

Well, This info.is according to my doctor. So I try to fast walk at least 4 times a week. Also I watch what I eat to, anyway thanx for posting.

Brittany said...

I like Biking/Cycling, It is very good for health. Great exercise.

WeightLoss Willie said...

Awesome article! I enjoy biking and swimming. Ultimate Frisbee is fun too!

Becky said...

Well, i Hope others can start a group like that with neighborhood friends/co-workers, it's nice to walk and talk with pals, thanx for the share.

Sadie said...

Well, I think a nice bike ride through some picturesque scenery is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Fitness Guide said...

I think running is one of the best summer workouts outside the gym
you can read more at Running for weight loss

Renu said...

Good timing...I was looking for something outside the gym and here it is .....

Physical Therapy Supplies said...

It’s very important to do exercise and training in a daily routine so to have a perfect body and also our health in a good mode. So I will suggest doing training and exercises daily. This will help you to maintain a good health and body. So do always exercise and training. But make sure not to do overtraining.

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Amber said...

Yes The jogging is an excellent exercise for losing weight, because it consumes calories at a rapid rate. And many Home Gyms product also helpful .