8 best types of exercise to do outside this summer

If you’d rather exercise in the great outdoors than in the gym, here are eight great ways to get your heart pumping.

1. Work your booty at boot camp

Personal trainer Natasha Korbut says some people are scared off by the mention of boot camps, but they needn’t be.

“I run boot camps all the time – they’re just coordinated exercises,” says Natasha, an ambassador for VicHealth’s This Girl Can campaign.

“They’re outside and normally they have a social connection aspect to them. So it’s a nice way to move, and to feel connected with your body and connected with others.”

She says boot camps offer a variety of exercises and are great for all over strength and cardio fitness.

2. Fling a Frisbee

Throwing a Frisbee around is pretty social, but you’ll also be getting more exercise than you might think, says Natasha.

Just grab a flying disc and head to a park or beach with a friend or one of your kids.

“It’s a really nice way to open up and mobilise the shoulder joints and back. If you take it somewhere where you can go barefoot, it’s an opportunity to also work a little bit on foot arches and calves,” she says.

dog walking

3. Take your dog (or someone else’s) for a walk

Being dragged along by a pooch is a great way to get your steps up without realising it.

But if you don’t have your own furry friend, never fear. You can volunteer to walk someone else’s dog through services such as Dogshare or BorrowMyPooch.

Go dog walking a few times a week and expect improved cardio fitness, lower blood pressure and decreased stress.

4. Get swimming

Swimming is a great, unstructured form of exercise that can be enjoyed alone or with others, says Natasha.

“Swimming can be just you going to the pool with a friend and treading water while you’re chatting,” she says.

“It’s really good for people with injuries, particularly people who maybe have knee problems, because it offloads some pressure on the knee joints.”

Plus, it’ll cool you down on the hottest summer days.

5. Yoga? Yes please

Natasha says yoga is another handy form of exercise on a hot day when you want to work on your strength and flexibility, without sweating buckets.

You’re working on some strength, you have an opportunity for women to really work on your pelvic floor as well, which often gets neglected,” she says.

summer hiking

6. Take a hike

Natasha, who lives among the tall trees of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, recommends a stroll in your local park or forest a go to soak up the benefits of nature.

These benefits can include everything from reducing your cortisol to your blood pressure and anxiety levels.

7. Dance like everyone’s watching

Want to samba in a park, or sashay through the city? Some dance instructors are now offering COVID-safe outdoor classes – as long as you don’t mind a few extra eyes watching.

For more of a one-off, Natasha suggests joining a flash mob. Get googling to find one near you, or start your own via Meetup.

8. Green those thumbs

If you’ve gardened your way through the coronavirus pandemic, good for you.

“Anything that gets you pruning is triceps; anything that gets you mowing or pushing a wheelbarrow is hamstrings,” says Natasha.

Raking will work your triceps, core and hamstrings.

“And if you’re weeding, it’s your hammies and your glutes and you will feel that the next day, I promise you,” she says.

Written by Larissa Ham.