workouts under the sun

If you are like many people come summertime, the idea of being cooped up in a sweaty gym might not sound all that fun. The good news is you don’t have to be. The sunshine and long days of summer provide the perfect outdoor atmosphere to get in shape, no equipment or gym membership needed. As an added bonus, you’ll soak up some serious vitamin D, which plays an important role in health.

There is a lot to be said for actually enjoying your workout routine, and the good news is there are endless options for how to get and stay in shape. You will get more out of your workouts and stay motivated to stick to your fitness plan if you enjoy what you are doing. Plus, science has found that spending time outdoors has notable physiological benefits, like better short-term memory, reduced stress, reduced inflammation, and improved concentration.

Furthermore, studies show that breathing fresh air and feeling the earth under our feet can go a long way in boosting our feel-good hormones.

It doesn’t end there. Exercising outdoors saves you a gym membership fee (that you could put toward at-home equipment or a good pair of running shoes), and also gives you the opportunity to seriously up your levels of the sunshine vitamin. Seasonal depression and vitamin D deficiency are very real and common phenomena. Aside from mood support, vitamin D also plays a huge role in immune system health and bone strength.

Now, check out five workouts under the sun and get started today.

1. Total Body Fat Burn

Try this amazing, full-body workout that will not only tone your muscles but will leave you sweating — and it can be done in only 10 minutes! This video has more of a lower-body focus (lots of squats and lunges, for example) but also will torch calories, especially outside on a hot day. Make sure to hydrate well during and after this fat burning workout.

2. Anytime On-The-Go Workout

This is a useful compilation of exercises that can be done anywhere and on-the-go. Repeat the circuit up to five times (depending on how much time you have), or mix and match the exercises to fit your needs. Feel free to modify these movements as well. For example, turn the jumps into step-ups, turn the hanging knee raises into bicycle crunches on the ground, or keep the reverse lunge step-ups to just reverse lunges. Definitely stretch afterward!

3. Leg and Butt Blaster

If sculpting a sexy butt and legs is your goal, this calorie-burning workout is not to be missed. You’ll need a staircase that allows you to use it for stair sprints. This workout is a challenging combination of stair burpees, ski jumps, stair grapevines, single leg hops, and sprints. Not only will it leave your legs and butt pretty sore the next time, but it will definitely get your heart rate way up, too.

4. Upper Body Sculptor

Try this upper body burning workout anywhere you have a bench or a chair (which really should be just about anywhere, no excuses!). From push-ups to tricep dips to a bit of core work mixed in, this is fun and can be adapted to beginner through advanced fitness levels.

5. Outdoor Yoga Stretch

Last but certainly not least, don’t neglect stretching and deep breathing, which is even better when you’re in fresh air. Yoga is a great way to unwind, stretch, and strengthen, and this short, 20 minute video could even be done after one of the more intense ideas mentioned above.

There you have it! Don’t be afraid to ditch the gym and get outdoors this summer for your workouts, or at least switch it up. Don’t be surprised if your mood improves too, not to mention your tan.