Fun Ways to Workout Outside

Photo: Catherine Jacobus (Wisconsin '18)

Photo: Catherine Jacobus (Wisconsin '18)

When it's nice out sometimes the last thing we want to do is go to the gym. Why trap yourself in a dark room, staring at a TV for an hour when the sun is shining? Instead of using the nice weather as an excuse not to workout, go get your daily dose of sweat AND vitamin D. There are so many ways to get a good workout in the great outdoors. Here are a few of our favorite ways to #getsweaty outside:

Hill Sprint Workout

Every neighborhood has an infamous hill that runners dread. Take advantage! Short, intense bursts of cardio have been shown to be just as effective in increasing respiratory efficiency as a long and slow 40-minute workout. Start with a slow 15 to 20 minute warm-up jog. Then, do 3-6 sprints up the hill, depending on the height and length of the hill, with 1-minute rest in between each sprint. Finish with an easy 10-minute cool down and stretch.  

Tabata Workout

Tabata workouts can be done anywhere. Tabata consists of performing an intense cardio movement for 20 seconds and then resting for 10.  Some of my favorite exercises to do with tabata intervals are burpees, jumping squats, mountain climbers, high knees, jumping jacks, and push ups. Do any of these movements for 20 seconds as hard as you can, rest for 10 seconds for a total of 4 minutes.

Track Workout

Photo: Maggie Baird (Tulane '18)

Photo: Maggie Baird (Tulane '18)

If you hate going for long runs, this workout is for you. Start with an easy mile jog around the track. Then do three 1-mile sprints, four times around, floating for two laps between each mile. Try to get progressively faster each mile. If mile sprints are too much for you, tone it down by doing half-mile sprints instead. When you’re finished make sure to stretch. If you want to add in some strength training, you can do walking lunges on the track alternating with bleacher push-ups on the stands nearby.

Trail Exploring

If running isn’t your thing but you still want to get outdoors, do some research to find a nearby park. Going for a long hike is a great, relaxing, but effective workout.

Stair Workout

The last but definitely not the easiest way to break a sweat outside is to use any set of outdoor stairs as a training tool. For cardio, run up the stairs to get your heart pumping and walk down to recover. You can easily use the stairs for strength training too. Use the stairs to do dips, push-ups, calf-raises, or split squats. To get a well rounded work out in combine running up and down the stairs with any of the strength exercises. Keep that up for at least 20 minutes and you’re bound to be dripping by the end!