Outdoor workouts for boosting mental health and self-esteem

With spring just a few weeks away, it’s becoming the best time of year for outdoor exercise. Exercising outdoors is not only good for your body; Going out also improves your mental health and relieves stress. Exercising outdoors can improve your mood, as the fresh air and sunlight will increase your vitamin D and improve your mental health and self-esteem.

These types of workouts are simple and accessible; all you need is your body and the outdoors. You can also choose to incorporate equipment if you have it. Here are some types of workouts that will improve your physical and mental health.

bodyweight workouts

Bodyweight workouts are made up of strength training movements that only use your body weight. This type of training can improve your strength, endurance, and flexibility. Bodyweight movements are movements like squats, push-ups, lunges, burpees, and mountain climbers.

Bodyweight training to try:

50 squats

40 sit-ups

30 lunges

20 push-ups

10 burpees

Go down the ladder and then back up.

cardio workouts

Cardio exercise is pretty much anything that gets your heart rate up. Doing cardio improves the health of your heart and brain and elevates your mood. The most common forms of outdoor cardio are running, jogging, and walking, but other options include walking, biking, jumping rope, swimming, or rollerblading.

Popular outdoor workouts at the University of Cincinnati are running or stair walking at Nippert Stadium or running on the track at Gettler Stadium.

Track training to test:

Walk/jog a warm-up lap and stretch as needed.

Run 400m, or one lap.

Rest three minutes.

Run 200m, or half a lap.

Rest two minutes.

Repeat this pattern three times.

yoga workouts

Yoga is a great way to find peace of mind and relaxation while strengthening and stretching your body. It is believed that doing yoga outdoors helps you connect with nature better than when you do it indoors.

There are many resources online for learning basic yoga poses and routines. Try this 10-minute yoga session the next time you need a quick workout.

10 minute yoga workout to tone muscles:

Cat-Cow posture.

Low lunge to smooth twist.

Spinning Thrust to Exalted Warrior Variation.

Warrior II to rotated triangle.

Four-member plank cane.

Upward facing dog to downward facing dog.

Fold forward to assume the garland pose.

Posture from the chair to the plane.

Variation of the crescent lunge to the pose of the lizard.

Trainings with limited equipment

If you enjoy doing bodyweight exercises outdoors, you may want to consider purchasing some basic training equipment. Dumbbells, kettlebells and resistance bands are small enough to take with you wherever you work out and can make a great strength training routine.

Dumbbells and kettlebells can be purchased at most stores. If you’re looking for a cheaper option than full retail price, Facebook Marketplace and play sports again both are ways to find them second hand.

Dumbbell/kettlebell workout to try:

20 goblet squats

20 overhead presses (10 per side)

20 weighted lunges

twenty snatches

Repeat for three rounds.


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