Outdoor activities to tone you up fast

Next month will be the official month of autumn. This means our outdoor days in the sunshine are numbered. N2 Fitness trainers, Heinrich Smith and Emile Solomons give us the top ten outdoor activities that can also tone you up fast and make the most of the outdoor weather.

1.  Road running – If you don’t have any problems concerning your weight bearing joints i.e. ankles, knees and lower back,  road running is very effective for burning calories and to tone up the legs. Be sure to warm up and stretch prior to running and cooling down and stretching afterwards.

2. Swimming – Should you be fortunate enough to have a pool in your back yard, use it. It’s one of the best cardiovascular exercises around. It has no impact on your joints while giving you a full body workout.

3. Playing frisbee – Don’t underestimate the effects of this simple game. It’ll get you moving, jumping and running around while breaking a good sweat. It’s one of those activities that can distract you from the effort and time you are putting in as you focus on catching that little disc.
4. Boot camp – Doing exercise outdoors balances out some of the hours you spend indoors while inhaling some fresh air is always a good thing. Being outdoors also allows your body to produce some vitamin D from the sunlight.

5. Playing in the park – If you have kids, playing in your local park is one of the easiest and best ways of providing exercise for all of you. Pushing your kids on the swing for a couple of minutes will offer your upper body some good resistance to get them shaped and toned, while spinning on the merry-go-round will always be the cardio winner.

6. Hiking – What’s not to like about walking in nature with scenic views while breathing in some fresh air? There are many hikes with different levels of intensities for beginners to experienced hikers. Pack in lots of water and snacks. Also be dressed comfortably and wear closed shoes/boots.

7. Open air yoga – A great passive exercise to improve your flexibility and range of motion while toning up your upper body as you hold the poses. All you need is a yoga mat and a Dvd.

8. Cycling – It’s great for toning up your thighs and calves, great in improving your aerobic fitness, burning fat and very easy on the joints. Enjoy it as much as you can now as cycling in the rain is no fun.

9. Horse riding – One of the most underestimated activities in terms of intensity. It may seem easy to do, but try holding a static squat while keeping your balance on a moving animal and you’ll soon realise how hard your muscles are working. It’s great for tightening up the buns, thighs and working the core muscles.

10. Paint balling – Running around with a gas gun protecting your team member from the opposing team as he/she goes for the victory flag couldn’t be more fun. It gets the heart rate up as you run around dodging paint balls and works the arms as you aim to shoot, while you duck and crawl. If you bruise easily, it is advisable to wear an extra layer of clothing to act as cushioning. So, if you consider yourself adventurous, this outdoor activity is a must.

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