Outdoor Ways to Stay Fit

For many people, the best means to getting in shape is taking in the great outdoors and enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer.

The general public is more sedentary and overweight than ever before. Individuals spend time in front of computers, televisions and gaming devices. Some go from the car to the office back to the home each and every day.

There are consequences to living this sort of lifestyle. Apart from weight gain, the entire body pays the price for inactivity. Bones become brittle, muscles atrophy and stamina falters.

Those who feel regular exercises at the gym or on the basement treadmill are boring and lack inspiration may want to head outdoors to exercise. There are many benefits to outdoor activities.

When using the great outdoors as a gym, remember exercises don't need to be exercises in the traditional sense. There are no weights to lift or machines to circuit. Instead, simply walking or hiking can provide a thorough workout. The grade of the land will change, offering resistance to the different parts of the legs. Add resistance to arms with walking poles.

Sound like fun? Here are some other outdoor activities to try and the benefits received.

* Swimming: Head to the backyard swimming pool, a lake or the ocean for an all-around workout. Swimming works all of the muscles in the body in a low-impact way, making it an ideal workout for people with joint pain or arthritis. Swimming is also cardiovascular in nature, meaning it will get the heart pumping. The water provides a natural means of resistance, which can challenge the body. It's also a great way to lose weight in an enjoyable way.

* Bicycling: Cycling is environmentally friendly and a great workout to boot. Cyclists can tone their legs and buttocks with cycling, especially by varying the choice of terrain.

* Boating: Taking to a canoe or kayak can be a total-body workout as well. The practice of moving the oars will tone the arms, shoulders and back. Staying balanced in the vessel requires significant work from the legs and abdominal muscles. Though challenging, water sports can be a refreshing and exciting way to get in shape.

* Rock climbing: Be it the advanced route, complete with ropes and grappling hooks, or an amateur scramble up a hillside, the act of climbing works the legs, arms, back, shoulders, and so much more. Plus, it works the mind as well, requiring that climbers strategize as to how to reach the summit.

* Skateboards and scooters: Although these devices may seem to be child's play, they too provide a cardiovascular workout and can help work the muscles of the legs.

* Organized sports: Sports such as baseball, soccer, football, tennis, and others are enjoyed outdoors. Not only do they involve constant movement to provide cardiovascular exercise, but also they target many areas of the body. Plus, since these are generally team or social sports, players get to interact with others while having a good time and getting in shape.

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