Want to give it a shot? Try the jump rope strength workout, the jump rope HIIT workout, and the jump rope endurance workout here. All of those fun options take under 20 minutes.
6. Take some photos.
SELF’s social media manager Frances Dumlao uses her outdoor time to foster her creativity—she brings her camera and searches out beautiful flowers.
“I live in a city, and rarely do I stumble upon greenery during most times of the year. In the spring though, the city is blooming with tulips, daffodils, magnolias, and cherry blossoms,” she says. “It’s a good reminder for me to ‘smell the roses’—that there are still small things to be grateful for in this weird time. I also share my flower photos on social media, so that others may find a little joy in them too.”
7. Grow some food.
The act of gardening can be super-relaxing, and as a happy bonus, you could come out with some delicious—and free—fruits, vegetables, or herbs for your trouble.
SELF reader Melissa Alfano considers vegetable gardening one of her favorite outdoor activities for her whole family.
“We are teaching our preschooler about plants, so this is fun, relaxing, and educational,” she says.
8. Run some stairs.
If running isn’t your jam, you can still get in an intense cardio workout outside—especially if you live by some stairs.
Lauren Leavell, an NASM-certified personal trainer and barre instructor, has been running up and down the stairs at her local train station as a HIIT workout.
“Since the trains are not running now, no one is there,” she says. “I don’t like to run-run, so doing the stairs is more my style.”
9. Play outside.
Remember the sheer joy of simply playing outside when you were a kid? Mimic that now with some unstructured time outside.
Sivan Fagan, an ACE-certified personal trainer, spends time outside with her new puppy, Chai, to help blow off some steam.
“I love to run around and play shuffles with him, especially since he’s a puppy and has lots of energy,” she says. “Basically whenever I want to calm my mind, center myself, and practice gratefulness, I go outside. It’s like a pause button I can press during the day to reset and be one with nature and more in tune with myself.”
10. Make your own gym.
If you have some outdoor space, you can certainly do your equipment-free workouts there in the fresh air. But one of my own favorite ways to work out outside includes making your outdoor structure work for you.
For instance, I bring a large, looped resistance band outside and attach it to my steel fire escape. (Any kind of sturdy anchor point, like a pole or thick tree branch, would work too). Depending on the angle, you can do exercises like lat pull-downs and rows—moves I feel a little wary doing inside with my old, wooden, not-so-secure door frames.
I also use the open stairs themselves for bodyweight moves. They’re the perfect height (and sturdy enough) for pull-ups, and they make push-ups easier or harder by elevating either your hands or your feet off them. I’ve combined these exercises for a 15-minute four-move upper body circuit (pull-ups, push-ups, pull-downs, and rows) that honestly rivals a heavy-weight gym workout.
11. Ride your bike.
In order to get outside more, Miklaus has also been going on more rides lately.
Whether you’re cycling hard or going on an easy ride, remember that the same rules for running apply here—make sure you’re wearing a mask, and be sure to maintain proper social distancing while you’re riding.
12. Take a hike.
If you live near hiking trails—and they have remained open—hiking can be a great choice for a relaxing cardio workout. (Again, just be sure to wear a mask.)
“Hiking keeps me grounded,” says SELF reader Brindi Talley. “I get some good pics and a workout in.”
SELF reader Michelle Bowen chooses hiking both for its physical merits and stress-busting benefits.
“I love how I feel when I’m with the trees; sounds of water and the silence at times,” she says.
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