Outdoor Activities for Fitness: Beyond the Gym


We have been hearing the age-old saying, “Health is wealth,” since our childhood. Despite its meaning, we often give little attention to our physical well-being. We are well aware of the negative effects a lack of physical activity can have on us. The problem is, why do we shy away from gym or physical activities? The gym can be hectic. But what if there was another way?

In today’s world of social media, people are so concerned about their physical well-being that a packed gym is a common sight. In today’s generation, the gym has become a sign of fitness. Most youngsters think that a fit body can only be made in the gym. But it is not the truth. It’s easy to forget that the fitness playground lies just beyond our doorstep.

Step outside, breathe in the fresh air of nature and witness the beauty of the outdoors—where nature becomes your gym. A place where adventure meets physical activity. It offers not only physical strength but also peace of mind and a deep, profound connection with nature. In this write-up, we will explore the outdoor opportunities for fitness outside the gym.

  1. Cycling

Do you remember the joy you used to get just by cycling every evening? Indulging in cycling boosts our immunity and also brings us immense joy, it is a wonderful activity. Cycling is beneficial to your physical health and also keeps your heart healthy. Cycling is the best cardiovascular exercise because it allows you to burn approximately 400 calories per hour.

Moreover, it plays a crucial role in strengthening various muscles in the leg, including the hips and glutes. If you have joint pain or injury, cycling can be your best choice for coping with it. It will help reduce your joint pain as the act of pedaling while simultaneously maintaining your balance and steering enhances full body coordination, including your joints.

What to do: For any physical exercise, it is essential to warm up your body for at least 2 minutes. Stretch your legs, do forward leg swings, and side leg swings, and march past. Start by cycling at a moderate pace slowly, later, increase the speed, but don’t cycle too fast.

  • Running

Most of the population stops running after their childhood ends. Running is one of the best and easiest outdoor activities that requires no equipment and delivers maximum health benefits. Like cycling, running is an impressive exercise that improves cardiovascular health, strengthens your lower body, and helps reduce weight. That being said, there are other benefits too.

Running releases a hormone called endorphins, which are natural mood boosters released during physical activities and help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. When you run, your heartbeat increases which is good for your heart. Whether you like jogging through the park or running for fun, running allows you to challenge yourself.

What to do: First, do warm up for at least 5 minutes. This will relax your muscles and make them ready for running. Warming up will prevent the chance of injury and relieve muscle soreness. Start running at a moderate pace, slowly, so your heartbeat increases slowly.

  • Outdoor games

When was the last time you played outside? For most of us, childhood was the time when we played games. That was the time when playing outside was our only source of happiness and joy. Playing outside is an effortless and enjoyable way to stay fit. Take up sports like cricket, football, basketball, or any sport of your liking. Play it with friends and experience how it helps.

In the mentioned sports, things go well beyond physical activities. It requires team building, planning, strategies, and coordination among players. Indulge in outdoor sports, and they will strengthen you physically and mentally and foster personal growth. You will experience immense joy and peace of mind, just like you did back in your childhood.

What to do: Warm up your body before playing. A warm-up increases the range of motion, reduces injury risk, increases flexibility, increases blood flow and oxygen, relaxes, and reduces muscle soreness. All this helps in performing better.

  • Walking

Walking is one of the most neglected exercises. It’s a great option if you’re not in the mood for intense physical activity. Walking is the most basic form of physical exercise that we all do every day. The benefits of walking include that it is easy on your joints and that it relieves joint pain. Regular walking is associated with decreasing the risk of developing heart disease.

The best part of walking is that you can do it anywhere. It is the easiest way to burn calories, lose weight, and stay fit. Science says that at least a 30-minute walk is good for your heart and physical health. It is often said that one needs to walk 10,000 steps daily, which is true. However, research published by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology says that walking 4,000 steps daily helps too.

How much should you walk: walk at least 4,000 or 10,000 steps daily. 4,000 steps a day equals 3 kilometers, burning around 100-160 calories. Whereas, 10,000 steps a day equals 7.6 kilometers, burning around 300-400 calories. Going for a morning walk with an empty stomach is good as it sets your body in fat-burning mode, using the stored fat for energy.

What to do: Warm up your body and start with a moderate pace, then later, increase the speed.

  • Swimming

This option may not be for everyone, as it requires a swimming pool and good swimming skills. But if you have it, you can go for a swim. Swimming offers you a fun head-to-toe workout. This activity is ideal for people recovering from injuries, as it is a low-impact exercise that enables them to stay fit without putting excessive strain on their bodies.

Resistance to water in the pool adds to the workout, enhancing muscle strength and increasing flexibility throughout swimming sessions. Besides all the physical benefits, it is a therapeutic, relaxing, and stress-reducing fun activity. Swimming also provides meditative benefits through the movements and your focused breathing. Just be extra careful while swimming.

  • Yoga

If you’re seeking some tranquillity and solace, then yoga is for you. Yoga is a physical activity with a perfect blend of mind and body. It can also be done indoors, but doing it outside connects you with the peaceful nature of the outside world. Allow your mind to forget the cares of the world as you inhale and breathe in the fresh air, focusing on your physical and mental peace.

Connecting with nature through Yogo has proven benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, enhancing flexibility, getting better sleep, strengthening the immune system, preventing disease, relieving stress levels, etc. The mentioned physical and mental benefits are proven by science. If you immerse yourself in doing yoga outside, you can also experience these benefits.

  • Hiking

Hiking is an excellent cardio exercise that helps strengthen your lower body, such as your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads. As hiking usually involves walking on uneven terrain, you’ll activate various muscles to stabilize your core and body. A hike can take a few hours, burning around 600-700 calories in a 90-minute hike.

There is nothing like fresh air, warm sunshine hitting your face, and the feeling of soil under your feet. As seen earlier, hiking has many benefits, from physical exercise to the emotional or mental peace that comes from a calm and peaceful nature. In today’s world of anxiety and depression, hiking can reduce stress, calm anxiety, and lower the risk of depression.

For hiking, you can choose from many trails and destinations. Choose a good location for hiking, and take all the necessary measures, such as lacing up your boots, backpack, navigation compass, sunscreen, jacket, walking stick, some food, water bottle, etc. Be careful whenever you go hiking. Go hiking in the daylight.

The impressive benefits of outdoor exercise

We just learned about outdoor physical activities, now it’s time to learn the benefits outdoor activities have on our bodies. Outdoor exercise can also be called green exercise. Compared with the gym, exercising outdoors offers additional benefits that you may not get in an indoor environment.

Many researchers have examined how outdoor exercise differs from indoor exercise. Many researchers said that those who indulge in outdoor exercises can experience increased mood and mental health, enhanced social connections, and various other benefits. Following are some of the health benefits you can get from outdoor activities:

  1. Closer to nature

Outdoor physical activities are the holy grail for well-being. Spending time with Mother Nature can improve mood and reduce stress. Being present in nature, away from the gym or your house, will affect your psychological health and well-being positively. Break yourself free of the gym walls and explore the beauty of nature by doing outside activities.

You need no gym membership for that, what you need is a willingness to explore. From hiking trails to wide open spaces, nature has a lot to offer. In outdoor physical activities, every hill, trail, park, and open space will become your playground to enjoy nature and its benefits.

  • Enhance Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. We can get this vitamin naturally from the sunlight. Exposure to sun rays on our skin leads to the production of vitamin D. This vitamin is extremely essential for our bodies as it has a protective effect against harmful health crises such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

The best time to get exposure to sunlight will be between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Keep in mind that too much exposure to sunlight can be harmful and damage your skin. In warm summer weather, one needs exposure to sunlight only for 10-15 minutes a few days a week. If you plan to stay outside for a longer time, don’t forget to use sunscreen.

  • Boosts self-esteem

Physical activities and working outside with a group of people help engage in activities like making friends and being more sociable. Outdoor physical activities help you get away from the boring and exhausting routine and make the outdoor exercises fun.


In a world where health is wealth, sometimes our physical and emotional well-being takes a backseat. Fitness is so trendy in our modern lives that the gym is given the first preference, and people often forget the impressive benefits that outside physical activities have to offer. The gym has its benefits and has much to offer, but outdoor activities offer what gyms can’t.

The gym, with its walls, indoor environment, routine, and atmosphere, can feel suffocating and daunting. However, in today’s world of social media, fitness is glorified like never before. It has become a conception that a fit body can be achieved only within the confines of the gym. What people often forget and overlook is that there is another alternative outside the gym.

Go outside, and a world of nature becomes your gym. Nature is inviting you to explore all the physical and mental benefits it has to offer. In this write-up, we explored seven outdoor activities that you can do beyond the gym. From the simple pleasure of cycling through beautiful nature to the rush of fresh air when running, outdoor activities offer a lot of options to choose from.

Engaging yourself in sports like cricket, football, and basketball not only strengthens your body but also helps in social interaction and personal growth, giving you joy and peace. Even the simplest exercise, like walking, feels peaceful when performed outside. Offering physical benefits and an opportunity to connect with beautiful nature.

Hiking refreshes you as it takes you on a wonderful hiking journey through trails and hills. Swimming relaxes your overall body and helps you forget the cares of the world for a moment. There exists a world outside of the gym capable of helping your health and fitness. All of these outdoor activities are a good alternative to the gym. You just need to heed nature’s call.

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