Outdoor workout ideas for every season


Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. So why work out in a stuffy gym if you don’t have to? While a gym membership can allow you to exercise in comfort year-round, there are some benefits of outdoor exercise that going to the gym simply can’t provide.

Exercising outdoors means being physically active in changing environments and on different terrains, allowing you to keep some variety in your workouts. This variety is ideal for building fitness and preventing overuse injury. Exercising outdoors instead of at a gym or fitness studio also saves you money and gives you the chance to turn your workout time into family time.

Perhaps most importantly, research shows that outdoor exercise has beneficial effects on your mood. One study found that exercising outdoors was associated with “greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity.”

So what are you waiting for? Get up, get outside and get your blood flowing with these outdoor workouts for every season.

Outdoor exercises for spring

  • Go for a hike at one of Indiana’s best state parks.
  • Challenge your spouse or a friend to a tennis match. Even better, make it a weekly event.
  • Sign up for a local 5K, half marathon, bike ride or — if you’re feeling up for a new challenge — a mud run or adventure run. 
  • Roll up your sleeves and go to work in your garden. Planting your own fruits and veggies is a great way to boost your nutrition, too!

Outdoor exercises for summer

  • Go for a swim at your local pool or take the kids to the water park. Lakes are also great for swimming, but be sure to stay within a designated swim area and don’t jump or dive into the water off rocks or cliffs. 
  • Organize a beach volleyball game.
  • Dust off your golf clubs and hit the green. 
  • Take the family to the lake for a day of waterskiing or wakeboarding. 
  • Give stand-up paddleboarding a try. 
  • Skip the drive-thru car wash — get out your buckets and hose and wash the car yourself.

Outdoor exercises for fall

  • Join a community flag football, kickball, softball or soccer league.
  • Go for a jog or family bike ride after dinner. 
  • Take the family camping and do a little hiking while you’re at it.
  • Find a quiet spot with great scenery near your home and do some morning yoga.
  • Snap on your rollerblades and go for a cruise around the neighborhood or your favorite park.
  • Walk the kids to school or ride your bike to work.

Outdoor exercises for winter

  • Go ice skating.
  • Join a recreational ice hockey league.
  • Have a snowball fight or build a snowman with your kids.
  • Plan a trip to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding.
  • Bundle up and take a brisk walk during your lunch hour or after dinner.

Don’t let your exercise habits go by the wayside due to changing seasons. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, no matter the weather. There’s plenty you can do outdoors to give your mind the boost it needs while getting your body moving and your heart pumping.