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6 Awesome Outdoor Workout Activities to Try This Summer

A man and woman paddleboarding.
EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock

If you’re looking to get outside and exercise, while keeping a safe amount of space between you and everyone else, we’ve got the perfect activities for you. From hitting the waves to hiking, there’s something for everyone.

You’ll definitely want to jump on these activities soon, though! Summer slips by so quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be switching out those hiking boots for cross-country skis.

So, get out there and enjoy these activities while the sun is still bright and the water’s still warm.

Paddleboarding

If you’ve never tried paddleboarding, now is the best possible time to do so. You can spend an hour gliding through blue waters, inhaling fresh air, and working your abs and legs like crazy.

Plus, you’ll be totally alone—even if you go with a friend, you’ll each be on your own board.

You can challenge yourself by going into rougher waters. Maintaining your balance to prevent falling off really works your core muscles.

If you wanna take it a step further, try SUP yoga (see the video below) or Pilates.

Kayaking

Another water sport you can do by yourself while enjoying the summer weather is kayaking. Gliding your way through magical lakes, rivers, and oceans while relishing the view will work wonders for both your mental and physical health.

While you navigate waves and obstacles, you’ll intensely work your abs and shoulders, so expect to be sore for days after your first kayaking experience. And don’t forget to wear a hat, as your head will be constantly in direct sunlight.

You can rent a kayak almost anywhere. You can even get a cheap inflatable one, pack it in your bag, and take it with you wherever you go. Whether you choose to go alone or with a group of friends, rest assured that there will be plenty of open water to allow for social distancing.

Mountain Biking

A man carefully riding his mountain bike along a rocky outcropping on a mountain slope.
lassedesignen/Shutterstock

There’s nothing better than taking off on a bike and clearing your head, as you pedal your way through cities and parks. If you’ve never dared to venture off the beaten path, though, now’s a really good time to do it.

Take your bike to places unknown. Explore mountains and woods, breathe in the fresh oxygen, and get a really good workout. A change of terrain will challenge your leg muscles. Every rock, bump, or obstacle you encounter on your biking adventures will help strengthen your muscles. By the end of summer, you’ll likely find yourself admiring how strong and well-defined your calves have become.

Keep in mind that mountain biking isn’t the easiest activity to learn, though. If you’ve never done it before, be patient with yourself and let this be a summer of learning. All the summer festivals and events have been canceled anyway, so why not use the time riding your bike to new places?

Run on the Beach

If you’re used to running in your neighborhood or on local trails, try switching to a sandy terrain this summer. Even if you’re an experienced runner, the beach will challenge you in ways you can’t even fathom.

Sand and dirt are unpredictable surfaces, with bumps and holes in unexpected places. It will strengthen your joints and make them extra mobile and flexible.

After you master the beach, your regular running path will, undoubtedly, become much easier. By fall, you’ll be ready for more strenuous routes.

Hiking

Two people hiking on a woodland trail.
JGA/Shutterstock

Hiking is always a good way to get in some exercise. Although it’s not a novelty for most, some folks still haven’t broken in their hiking boots. Summer is the perfect time to start exploring your local trails, hills, or mountains and working on your cardiovascular fitness.

You won’t have to wear layers and the trails won’t be slippery and wet. You’ll be surrounded by wonderful views, and the magical relaxing touch of nature. Is there a better way to refuel your batteries and feed your soul?

The best part about hiking is it can be as mellow or challenging as you want. There are usually multiple paths you can take—some will be easier, and some will be harder.

Many people will probably have the same idea, so do some research about when and where it’s best to hike to avoid crowds.

Sailing

This is probably the most difficult of all the summer activities on this list. Although sailing has a reputation for being a leisure activity, it’s actually very physically demanding.

Learning how to sail is also on many people’s “bucket list.” So, if your summer plans aren’t panning out, book a sailing class, and finally learn how to captain your own ship.

Like riding a bike, sailing is also a skill you’ll never forget. Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you can take them out for a sail next summer.


Lots of things might be canceled this summer, but outdoor exercise isn’t one of them! Give some (or all) of these fun activities a try, and you’ll be getting stronger and healthier every day.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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