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6 Ways To Exercise Outdoors

By ANNA-MEGAN RALEY
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(credit: AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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H-Town could mean indicate a couple things besides Houston. Don’t forget Heat and Humidity. The summer air shouldn’t prevent you from going outside and getting fit this, even if it is hot. WebMD offers six ideas to get good exercise outside.

Walking

It sounds mundane, but current national guidelines suggest that 30 minutes of brisk walking (about 4 mph), five days a week will help ward off chronic disease. Increasing walks to 60 or miutes will help with weightloss. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Equipment Needed: Good athletic shoes are all you need.
  • Pros: Walking is a weight-bearing exercise (which means it’s good for bone health) and helps build cardiovascular endurance. Almost everyone can do it, regardless of fitness level.
  • Cons: You may not lose weight as quickly as with some other forms of cardiovascular exercise.

Jogging/Running

There’s a cardiovascular benefit from jogging. Not only is it terrific for your heart and lungs, but it also improves your stamina. If you’re trying to lose weight, it can burn calories more quickly than walking. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

Equipment: It’s important to get a good pair of running shoes, and, for women, a quality sports bra. Pay attention to the surface on which you run. Paths and grass are softer, but they’re uneven and could have holes. Concrete is harder, but good shoes help absorb shock. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Pros: Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. A 150-pound woman can burn 306 calories running for 30 minutes at 5 mph (a 12-minute mile). A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999 found that aerobic exercise like running may be as effective as medication for treating depression in some people.
  • Cons: Running can be hard on muscles and joints and can cause injuries such as shin splints and tendinitis.

Cycling

Houston has great places for cyclists to ride, and there’s always group rides available during summer months. Cycling can be a  great way to learn the neighborhood and commute. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Equipment: You need a bike, a helmet, and gloves with a little palm padding, which will absorb vibration and cushion your hands in a spill.
  • Pros: Biking is fun, can be used as transportation, and works different muscles than walking or running.
  • Cons: Equipment can be expensive. Cycling isn’t weight-bearing exercise (the type that helps build healthy bones), so you’ll need to couple it with strength training or another form of weight-bearing activity for optimum fitness.

Swimming

Get to the pool! Swimming is a wonderful cardiovascular conditioner that also helps tones arms and legs and is very easy on the joints. Swimming will increase your stamina, can help ward off diabetes and high blood pressure and relieves stress, according to Stuhr. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Equipment: A swimsuit and maybe goggles.
  • Pros: Most people already know how to swim; it’s fun, refreshing, and forgiving of excess weight or physical disabilities.
  • Cons: Not everyone has easy access to pools, lakes, or the ocean. Swimming is not weight bearing, so you should pair it with other activities such as walking or lifting weights.

Hiking

Hiking uses a lot of up-and-down movement, so you get a tremendous leg workout along with the cardiovascular benefits. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Equipment: You’ll need a good pair of hiking boots, a backpack (to carry water and supplies), and possibly a walking stick.
  • Pros: Hiking is a great leg, ab, and butt workout, and it helps build cardio endurance. A 150-pound woman can burn 200-plus calories hiking 30 minutes.
  • Cons: Unless you live near hiking territory, this is generally a weekend-only activity. Try walking, jogging, or another activity for your weekday workouts.

Kayaking

Kayaking is primarily an upper-body sport, but it also works the muscles of the center of your body, back, and stomach. Equipment, pros and cons according to WebMD:

  • Equipment: A kayak, a helmet, a, personal flotation device, and safety gear such as throw ropes. A neoprene or wet suit is good to have in cooler weather.
  • Pros: If you love the water, kayaking is a fun and scenic way to work out.
  • Cons: Equipment is expensive, and you need training before you hit the water on your own. For most of us, this is a weekend-only activity.

Post a comment and give us your suggestions for fun and fitness outdoors.

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