6 Outdoor Exercises to Stay Active This Summer

6 Outdoor Exercises to Stay Active This Summer
June 14, 2024
RxLocal Team

You know the drill: Go to the gym. Take a walk around the block. Play a game of pickup basketball. Repeat.

By now, you know that exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. It can boost your energy, improve your mood, reduce your risks of disease, and ensure you stay healthy for years to come.

The NHS recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise.

But sometimes getting those 150 minutes in can feel monotonous, especially if you follow the same weekly routine.

If you’re looking to switch things up, the summer months are the perfect time to try out a new activity, start a new program, and spice up your regular workout routine.

The best way to do it? Getting outside. Outdoor exercise allows you to get active while enjoying all that nature has to offer.

In the process, it can help you stay excited about your routine and stay active all year-round.

With that being said, here are six exercises you might want to try this summer:

1. Swimming

The quintessential summer activity, swimming isn’t only great for beating the heat — but also for exercising. The benefits of swimming are well-documented:

  • Full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Strengthens respiratory muscles
  • Promotes joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves motor skills and balance

If you have access to a pool, consider making swimming part of your regular workout routine.

Better yet, make it social. Make swimming a family activity or enroll in a local swim club to improve your technique and connect with others with similar interests.

During your workout, focus on specific exercises — like breaststroke, butterfly stroke, backstroke — and incorporating interval training, where you swim high-intensity and low-intensity recovery laps.

Just make sure to spray on the sunscreen and stay hydrated, then get swimming.

2. Jogging

If you’d rather do your exercise on land rather than sea, try incorporating jogging into your routine.

Especially if the weather is nice, jogging can be enjoyed outdoors — either around the neighborhood, on an outdoor track, or on a scenic trail. The benefits are clear:

  • Improves endurance
  • Enhances mood and reduces stress
  • Aids in weight management
  • Boosts immune function
  • Improves longevity

Depending on the climate you live in, the weather may be more conducive to jogging early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun’s UV rays aren’t as harsh.

On that note, experts suggest that jogging in the morning can adjust your circadian rhythm, improve your endurance, and regulate your body temperature better.

Jogging doesn’t have to be a chore, either. Jogging 1-2 days per week can give you all the benefits while allowing you to try out other outdoor exercises.

Apps like Nike Run Club or Strava can help you keep track of your jogging progress and stay motivated throughout the summer.

3. Cycling

Another form of cardio, cycling is ideal for the summer months — whether you’re taking a leisurely ride or trying an intense workout.

If you have access to bike paths, trails, or roads, consider making cycling a part of your regular workout routine.

Here’s why:

  • Builds muscle strength and endurance
  • Low impact on joints, reducing injury risk
  • Improves coordination and balance
  • Improves mood
  • Decreases heart disease risk

During your cycling workout, you can focus on incorporating different types of exercises — like hill climbs for strength, sprints for speed, and long-distance rides for endurance.

After your workout, you can finish out with a nice scenic stroll. And, to get others in on the fun, plan group rides with friends or family; or join a local cycling club.

4. Hiking

Hiking is a great way to combine exercise with exploration, giving you the chance to get a workout in while admiring good views. The benefits of hiking include:

  • Provides a full-body workout, especially on varied terrain
  • Increases endurance and stamina
  • Enhances cardiovascular health
  • Strengthens leg muscles and improves balance
  • Improves mental well-being

During your hike, focus on varying your routes and difficulty levels.

Incorporate elevation changes for added intensity, practice mindfulness to stimulate your brain, and of course, always carry essentials like water, snacks, and safety gear.

5. Outdoor Yoga

Speaking of mindfulness, there’s no better exercise to test it out than outdoor yoga.

Grab your yoga mat, take to your local park, and enjoy some light stretching out in nature. The benefits of outdoor yoga are numerous:

  • Improves flexibility and strength
  • Improves balance
  • Improves coordination
  • Decreases anxiety and promotes relaxation
  • Boosts mental clarity and focus

Depending on your goals, you can opt for a fast-paced flow session or a slower stretching session.

You can incorporate various yoga poses — like sun salutations, downward-facing dogs, and warrior poses — to target different muscle groups.

And, of course, you can use your surroundings to better connect with nature and practice mindfulness.

6. Team Sports

Your outdoor workout routine doesn’t have to be done alone.

While you can get any of your friends or family in on the exercises listed above, team sports are designed to be done together.

Whether it be pickleball, slow-pitch softball, or ultimate frisbee, team sports can provide you with several benefits:

  • Builds strength and endurance
  • Improves agility
  • Fosters social interaction
  • Decreases isolation
  • Improves overall mental well-being

Look to your local recreation center to find any summer leagues and sign up for one that fits your schedule.

Not only can these sports keep you physically fit, but they can help you meet new people, make new connections, and most importantly, make new friends with the same outlook and health and wellness.


Summertime is the best time to try out new outdoor exercises.

Whether you’re interested in jogging, swimming, or testing out team sports, there are plenty of ways that you can get up, get outside, and get moving this summer.

Not only does outdoor exercise improve your physical fitness — but it also boosts your mental well-being, connecting you to the natural world.

Plus, when you make exercise a social activity, you can connect with others.

No matter what outdoor exercise you try, make sure you stay prepared — taking into account outdoor temperatures, applying sunscreen, drinking water, and knowing when to rest.

If you can keep these best practices in mind, you can find an outdoor exercise you’ll want to keep up well past when the summer comes to a close.