Where do I find all those fabulously perfect, well-skilled outdoorsy types? Do they have some secret group where they all hang out and showcase their skills? I didn't grow up knowing "those types" of people. The closest I got to outdoorsy as a kid was a week at wilderness horse camp. My reward for peddling the most girl scout cookies door to door.
But that was the start of an inner fire to learn more about the outdoors and myself. So as life progressed and I had opportunties to camp, hike, wander, rappel, climb, surf, backpack, skydive, and basically soak up the outdoors, I jumped on it. When my work lead me to more fitness training, outdoor guiding and opportunities to travel, I had to share my experiences. The more I train (and see the results in my own body) the more I understand the connection of our body-brain chemistry, stress, anxiety, and fat burning. My outdoor fitness addiction began, and these benefits should get you motivated too.
Improved Resting Heart Rate & Metabolic Burn
Wouldn't you love to know you're getting the maximum workout every time, and you're body was working at it's highest efficiency? Fortunately we can train ourselves to get better, and even burn a few calories while we have chill days. Of course we can improve heart health indoors, but I encourage you to get the added benefits of the outdoors and your added oxygen intake.
It has long been known that our heart rate plays a pivotal role in our health, and as one of our bodies core working organs we need to pay attention to what it is telling us. According to studies at the Mayo Clinic, "A lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute." So how do we track and improve our own resting heart rate?
- Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist, on the thumb side.
- Use the tips of your first two fingers (not your thumb) and press lightly over the artery.
- Count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 to find your beats per minute.
Check the average rates below to see where you are, and where you can improve or increase your rate (if you're not sweating or burning calories during workouts) or you need to take steps to lower your heart rate to lessen heart disease. An average resting adult heart rate is 60, as you approach 100 beats per minute you are at increased risk for health problems.
A positive outdoor workout can improve our results, without being stuck indoors, and help us determine our metabolic needs. (basal metabolic rate). For example my BMR is 1,290 calories, which means this is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) my body needs to function at a resting rate in a 24 hour period. This helps me know how efficient my body is being, and helps me plan workouts and meals.
Here's what my caloric intake would look like according to the National Institute of Health.
Ok, I don't want to bore you with numbers. You can find out you own rates with the BMR calculator at then take yourself outdoors to burn fast calories with a hike and increase your heart rate with a run.
Improved Coordination & Function
One of the first outdoor workouts that comes to mind with improved coordination and balance is trail running. It's one of the side effects of navigating those rocks and roots. It's like the outdoors taps into a visceral connection that turns your concentration into Jedi style focus.
Running is not even my thing, though I still try to fit it into my over all fitness routine for the calorie burn. I'm not sure when running became something I struggled with, but within the past few years I had to push myself to finish a mile. This was not my younger self winning track races. But there's something about am outdoor trail that makes me want to jog through and push my limits. Sucking in that fresh air, engaging my balancing muscles, recruiting micro muscles I don't get with weights and improving my metabolic expenditures.
It may not be in my outdoor fitness game to be a competitive trail runner or ultra marathoner, but that's o.k. too. What I can do is feed my outdoor addiction with many easily accessible trails that improve my muscle control, coordination, situational awareness and proprioception, all while keeping me healthy.
Natural Vitamin D & Glowing Skin
I'm a self-proclaimed outdoor and ocean addict so I'm in nature a lot. I love my Vitamin D, and even take an added supplement during winter (if I'm not traveling) Does Vit. D help improve your workout performance? Well that's still under discussion, but it does play key roles in our body functions. Like aiding in prevention of injuries and stress fractures.
Vitamin D functions in two distinct ways within the body, through the endocrine and autocrine systems. The first, enhances intestinal calcium absorption, essential for bone growth and density. Without it, bone loss occurs. The second, the autocrine pathway is involved in synthesizing proteins, hormone synthesis, and immune response. Without Vit. D exposure, cells are not able to respond correctly. Kind of a big deal since 80% of the bodies Vit. D is processed through the autocrine system.
So, if you can help your body's function just be being outdoors, shouldn't we be taking advantage of it? I'll see you as I chase an endless summer around the globe. Often spending my winter's in Hawaii, Baja, and California catching those "D" rays and gaining a few more freckles on sun soaked skin.
Improved Mental Fitness
Our complex conscious interpreter (the brain) is one of the most discussed topics because there is still so much left to understand. It's also one of my favorite subjects because of the neurophysiological elements in regards to fitness. In short the mind-body connection. I've pulled myself out of situational depression, and difficult personal and professional times by gaining skills in my fitness routine. Unlocking my physical boundaries also helped improve brain function, release positive brain chemicals and appeared to help my focus, memory and learning. It's been shown that cardio and aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus. The area of "thinking skills" and who couldn't use more of that?
Besides the more obvious mental benefits of outdoor fitness training below, you are improving your overall fitness in beautiful places. Whatever outdoor exercise is your motivator, commit to it like you would any other appointment or meeting in your life, and write down several goals you'd like to accomplish in the mental fitness area. If you subscribe to this thought process, you understand you're treating the mind with the body, and vice versa. Soon you'll become addicted to those bursts of positive body chemistry and want more.
- Improves mood
- Improves sleep
- Improves memory
- Improves growth factors (new brain blood vessels and brain cells)
- Reduces stress
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces depression
Outdoor Beach Bootcamps
Beach bootcamps are a lot of fun first and foremost because they are outdoors, and being on an uneven surface like sand is already engaging more of your full body workout. I love teaching them, but have a love-hate relationship with attending them because they are challenging and you have someone pushing you to be accountable. Yes, even I have to listen to the boot camp "drill instructor." These same things are the beneficial reasons even a 30 minute outdoor routine can change your lifestyle.
Outdoor bootcamps can be done anywhere with intense workouts using logs, trees, and rocks, cardio bursts and your own body weight. Boot camp varieties include routines with a focus on mental toughness, nutrition, and power lifting The benefits are undeniable however, and have made boot camp workouts widely popular. Anyone been to a Tough Mudder or Spartan obstacle race, these are great example of large scale outdoor "boot camps."
There are plenty of good reasons to be physically active. Big ones include reducing the odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Things that are on the rise with typical daily diets. Want a little inspiration? Here's your personal beach boot camp body blast routine.
- Jump Forward/Jump Back Burpee
- 3 Skaters One Leg Burpee
- Lunge Kick Burpee
- Double Pulse Squat Burpee
- Jump Squat Burpee
- Squat w/weight and Side Kick wearing mini band
- Hip Thrusters w/weight
- Dead Lifts
- Forward Lunges
- Single Leg Deadlift (airplane)
- Fire Hydrant/Leg Cross Overs
Outdoor Yoga Connection
When I tried yoga for the first time 17 years ago, I felt pretty out of place, and honestly didn't leave that impressed. But I kept going back. I went to different studios, tried other teachers, meet lots of different people, and even took it as a college credit. I kept exploring until I found one that resonated with me. It just so happened that Yoga Burn & Yoga Sculpt were where I felt comfortable and got the results I wanted. So when I started teaching yoga, I taught it on beaches, in parks, on boat decks, and in beautiful lush mountain fields. The benefits of outdoor yoga fitness only accelerated my skills. It taught me consistency, focus, and not to be so hard on myself.
Yoga burn is such and empowering and "sexy" feeling. Like pushing your body to it's limits, feeling the "shake" of muscle fatigue during poses and knowing you're getting healthier each day. With sculpt and burn, the best of yoga and resistance training has been harnessed into a super short and incredibly enjoyable 15 minute routine. Anyone can do that right?
I’m talking about fitness yoga routines that will save you a ton of time while experiencing:
- A Faster Metabolism
- Improved Flexibility & Posture
- Long, Lean Muscle Tone And Definition
- Improved Health, Energy and Focus
- Renewed Dedication To Your Yoga Routine
- Connection to Nature
There is a growing body of research to confirm the benefits of training outdoors, but it's not the cure for everything. Take what works for you, and push yourself to do things you haven't before. I didn't grow up an outdoorist, but found my own way to get there with a little help and lots of training along the way.
I craved the knowledge of nature for a long time, but left if on the sidelines for years because of other responsibilities and a little intimidation. I didn't have anyone to hold my hand and narrate the how to's of the outdoors, training or skill set. So I took a no f**k attitude and got the training myself. I tried everything I could, attended the trainings that worked, took solo road trips and practiced outdoor living in remote spots. That's my empowerment, and it's a passion I want to share with everyone.
Want to learn more about how to unlock the power of outdoor fitness options and my favorite yoga burn? Sign up for our Yoga Burn series you can do at at home or outdoors!
By the way, those are affiliate links for products that I own and use from Amazon Influencer LLC and other partnerships. If you do purchase through a link, this site get a small commission at no extra cost to you whatsoever. If you like what you find on this site and want to buy these things anyways, consider it with our partnerships.