Spring has sprung and it's time to move your workout from the stuffy gym to the fresh air outside. Taking exercise outside is cheaper than working out in a gym and studies suggest that outdoor workouts burn more calories due to the terrain and the elements. People who exercise outside have less tension, depression, and fatigue, and are more likely to exercise frequently and for longer periods. One of the most popular outdoor workouts is running, but don't despair if running isn't your thing. Cheapism.com has assembled a list of outdoor workouts other than running that will get you feeling and looking your best in time for swimsuit season.
10 Calorie-Torching Outdoor Workouts (Besides Running!)
We aren't talking about a nice window-shopping stroll -- pump up the speed and walk for at least 30 minutes. Studies have found that walking at 4.5 miles per hour burns roughly the same number of calories as jogging at the same speed. Additionally, walking is easier on your joints and less likely to cause injuries compared with running. And you can walk just about anywhere for free. Try your own neighborhood, a nearby park, or around the track at a local school.
All you need is some bleachers. Try a local ballpark or high school football field. Some walking trails have steps, too. You can either sprint to the top and walk back down, or pace yourself and walk in both directions. Either way you're burning calories and working your lower half.
Even if you don't live near a beach, there may be sand volleyball in your area. Check local parks for courts. Join a league or stop by and play a few pick-up games for free. You'll have so much fun jumping, diving, and hitting the ball that you won't even realize you're burning calories.
Many parks have open (and often free) tennis courts, so grab your racket and a friend and hit away. Tennis is a whole body exercise that burns plenty of calories. You use leg, arm, and core muscles every time you hit the ball.
Biking is an excellent way to burn calories and work your lower half. Biking outside is much more engaging than the stationary bike at the gym. Mix up your rides to get the most out of them. Look for uphill climbs and go fast on straightaways to increase the calorie burn.
If you have access to a pool, lake, or ocean, swimming is one of the best workouts you can do. Swimming is low impact but still gets your heart pumping, and it works every muscle in your body. It also helps ease tension by stretching out tight muscles.
Jumping rope is an easy way to get the heart pumping and the calories burning. It's also a great leg workout. All you need is a rope, and it doesn't even have to be an official jump rope. According to WebMD, just 15 to 20 minutes of jumping rope can burn off that candy bar you ate at lunch.
Much like jump rope, this one may bring to mind the elementary school playground, but there's a reason jump ropes and hula hoops are so popular among children -- they're fun and they get you moving. A 99 cent hula hoop is a good way to get in some quick cardio, build endurance, and blast away belly fat.
Especially good for the quad muscles, roller blading can burn almost as many calories as jogging in the same amount of time. While new roller blades aren't cheap, if you already own them this is an outdoor workout to consider. It's fun and effective on a nice spring day.
Who says you need the gym to get in a good circuit workout? Combining several of the ideas above, create your own circuit workout outside. An example: Power walk around the block, come back and jump rope or hula hoop for 10 minutes, power walk again, come back and do a quick series of push-ups and sit-ups. Or, bike over to the nearest set of steps, stair climb for 10 minutes, power walk around the track, do another 10 minutes of stair climbing, and bike home. It's more fun than the gym on a nice day.