Fitness - August 5, 2016

5 outdoor workouts for your body and mind

highlands NC hiking
highlands NC hiking
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Alo ‘Reflection’ workout top (part of #NSALE and marked down to $44!) + Zella Leggings + Nike tennis shoes (also on sale!) // high neck sports bra (also included in the sale!) + blue racer back tank (40% OFF right now! wearing size XS, fits very oversized!)

Do ya’ll ever feel like you need something fresh when it comes to your exercise routine? Like your body and mind are just o.v.e.r. it? I’ve been craving time outside and simply sick of my normal gym routine. It sounds dramatic, but I’ve been longing for time to clear my head, hear nothing but nature, and get some new workouts in. I’ve been in Highlands, North Carolina this week, so I spent time outside taking advantage of the GORGEOUS setting. With endless trails to explore, I went on a couple hikes with my family, and even made my dad do BBG with me (more on this in an upcoming post, but if you don’t know what it is, it’s a tough workout and my dad had me LOLing the whole time. An extra ab workout for sure! (Anyone catch us on Snapchat?!)

As I thought about why I was feeling the pull to change things up and get outside, I realized that my mind—this sounds corny, but I’m serious, people!—was the one asking for it. I’m pretty diligent about getting my fitness on, but my indoor routine was boring me and I wasn’t getting the same positive rush. Plus, my mind has been on overdrive lately. I needed a change!

Exercising in the fresh air of Highlands had me feeling all sorts of ways, and I finished each workout on a serious endorphin high! It was also super motivating. I was so refreshed that I didn’t have to argue with myself about starting a workout. It felt damn good!

As I head back to real life in Dallas, I’ve promised myself to make outdoor exercising a regular thang. I’m committed to switching up my routine to benefit me as a whole. Here are 5 outdoor workouts to help your body AND mind:

  1. Hiking. Even if you have to drive a bit, a hike is perfection. You get a full body workout (cardio + a killer push for your lower half) and let’s be real, the views are always worth it. Go at your own pace and bring layers + H20!
  2. Swimming. Sure, I love a good dip in a cold pool, but I want to actually start swimming—OK or even just treading water while waiting for a drink, and yes that burns calories! Swimming kicks your butt. Just looking at the swimmers set to compete in Rio this summer is enough motivation for me.
  3. Walks. Walking gets a bad rep since it’s not the most intense workout, but if I’m feeling blah and my soul is craving it, I’ll go on a long walk. Sometimes you just need a walk, darn it! Wearing ankle or wrist weights would also be a good challenge.
  4. Biking. Yes, biking down the street to get ice cream counts as a workout, but I’d like to go on some long rides, especially once the heat calms down a little…and fine, I’ll skip the ice cream visit. A long bike ride through the country sounds ahhhmazing right about now, right?!
  5. Full-body circuit. If there’s a park near you, you have a free gym. Monkey bars are hard work—seriously, try it!—and you can get creative with your moves. Make up a circuit, like pushups, then monkey bars, then crunches with your legs resting on the slide…you get the picture. Or, get on the BBG train with me—and no this is not sponsored, I’m just obsessed.

Did you guys notice that all of these outdoor workouts limit the distraction of your computer or TV?! While in NC I kept my phone packed away as I hiked to give my mind extra love away from technology. I really think it’s part of the reason these outdoor workouts had my body and mind feeling their best. No gym + no devices = a super blissed out Brighton!

What are your favorite workouts outdoors? How do you clear your mind with a workout?