COVID-19 has no doubt made maintaining your fitness goals more difficult. Gyms remain closed, and your kitchen cabinets’ sweets and snacks are constantly calling your name; an afternoon working from home is not complete without a bag of pretzels or a chocolate chip cookie. However, even in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s not impossible to burn calories and build muscle–and enjoy a few snacks every now and again–without exposing yourself to COVID-19.
In fact, staying active is easier than you think. As long as you have an outdoor space, nature can become your own personal gym. With outdoor fitness training, you don’t need a personal trainer or a set of weights to meet your fitness goals. All you need is a trail, a street, or a small outdoor patch of grass–and a little bit of motivation.
- Go for a Walk
Most people don’t know how beneficial walking is for your body. Walking can strengthen your muscles, support your joints, and improve your circulation. It’s also an excellent way to burn calories and lose weight; a fast-paced walk of only 30 minutes can burn up to 200 calories. Plus, walking can be fun. A walk is a great time to catch up on your favorite podcasts, listen to new music, or call a long-distance friend for a chat–all while staying six feet away from your neighbors.
- Take a Hike
When you think of hiking, you might think of steep hills, rocky terrain, and wild animals on a trail in the middle of the woods. However, this isn’t always the case; there are likely plenty of hiking trails near you, and you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to utilize them. Hiking, like walking, is a great way to burn calories and will help you reach your target weight. Hiking also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and leads to improved bone density and reduced risk of heart disease.
- Go for a Run
Running is a perfect way to stay active while protecting yourself from COVID-19. Running is one of the most efficient individual exercises, as it takes only a small amount of time for your body to burn a great deal of calories. And with running, the only person you’re competing against is yourself, making it the ideal quarantine activity. Setting personal goals–working to improve your times and building your mileage–can help you stay motivated.
- Hop on a Bike
Running isn’t for everyone. If you’re one of those people, or if you like to break up your running routine with other outdoor cardio activities, try hopping on a bike. Biking is a low-impact exercise, allowing you to burn fat without risking joint or muscle injuries. It increases strength and stamina, and is an outstanding muscle workout. Cycling is also one of the most fun ways to get fit; little compares to the feeling of whizzing down a smooth hill and feeling the wind in your hair, all while burning calories and keeping away the virus.
- Try Strength Training
Though most people think of strength training as requiring dumbbells or weight machines, the reality is that you can effectively strength train using only your body and the ground. There are countless equipment-free strength training exercises you can do to help build muscle and work toward your fitness goals, such as jumping jacks, planks, mountain climbers, or push-ups. You can find a routine on the internet or create your own, and all you need to be successful is an outdoor spot and a bit of ambition.
While COVID-19 has been a major life disruption, it doesn’t have to disrupt your workout routine. You can still reach your fitness goals! With fun, challenging, fat-burning and muscle-building outdoor workouts such as walking, hiking, running, biking and strength training, you can stay healthy and fit without risking exposure to the virus. So lace up your sneakers, go outside, and get ready to work hard while staying safe.