The Nature of Exercise: Examples, Tips, and Benefits [2023]

nature of exercise examples

As fitness professionals at Fitness and Nature™, we believe that exercise should be an enjoyable and sustainable experience. Exercising in nature offers endless opportunities to explore and train the body while improving mental and emotional wellbeing. In this article, we'll cover the nature of exercise, examples, tips, and benefits for a comprehensive look at exercising in the great outdoors.

Primary Types of Exercise

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When it comes to exercise, there are four primary types to consider:

1. Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, involves moving large muscle groups over a prolonged period, increasing heart rate and ventilation, and burning calories. Some great examples of cardiovascular exercise outdoors include:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Cross-country skiing

2. Strength Training

Strength training, also called resistance training, involves using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises to develop muscular strength and endurance. Some great examples of strength training exercises outdoors include:

  • Bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, lunges, etc.)
  • Weightlifting with portable equipment (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.)
  • Climbing (rock climbing, tree climbing, etc.)
  • Calisthenics (bar work, rings, etc.)

3. Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is often overlooked but is essential for maintaining mobility, reducing injury risk, and improving posture and balance. Some great examples of flexibility training exercises outdoors include:

  • Stretching (static, dynamic, or PNF)
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai chi

4. Neuromotor Training

Neuromotor training, also known as functional fitness, is an essential aspect of overall wellness that includes coordination, balance, agility, and reaction time. Some great examples of neuromotor training exercises outdoors include:

  • Balance exercises (bosu ball, slacklining, etc.)
  • Agility drills (ladder drills, cone drills, etc.)
  • Reaction time drills (agility ladder drills, hopscotch, etc.)

What are the Benefits of Outdoor Exercise?

There are numerous benefits to outdoor exercise, including:

  • Increased Vitamin D intake
  • Increased exposure to fresh air and nature
  • Improved mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Reduced feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes
  • Enhanced creativity and cognitive function

Examples of Outdoor Workouts

Take your workouts outside with these examples of outdoor settings and exercises:

Trail Running

Trail running is an excellent way to combine the benefits of cardio, strength, and neuromotor training while enjoying the great outdoors. Try incorporating hill sprints, lateral hops, and agility drills into your trail run.

Bootcamp Workout

Create your own outdoor bootcamp workout by combining strength and cardio exercises, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and sprints. Use park benches or picnic tables for tricep dips, step-ups, and box jumps.

Yoga Practice

Find a peaceful spot in nature for a yoga practice that improves flexibility, balance, and mental focus. Tree pose, bird dog, and chair pose are all great options for outdoor yoga sessions.


Swimming in a lake, ocean, or pool is an excellent low-impact cardio exercise that offers a refreshing break from the summer heat. Try incorporating interval sprints or sets of different strokes for a full-body workout.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Always wear sunscreen and stay hydrated when exercising outdoors, especially in the heat.
  • Not only does outdoor exercise improve physical health, but it also provides mental and emotional health benefits.
  • According to Harvard Health, outdoor exercise can burn up to 20% more calories than indoor exercise thanks to factors like wind resistance and uneven terrain.


What are the 4 main types of exercise?

The four main types of exercise are cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and neuromotor training.

What is an example of form of exercise?

An example of a form of exercise could be hiking, which provides both cardiovascular and neuromotor training benefits.

What are five examples of exercise?

Five examples of exercise include running, swimming, weightlifting, yoga, and climbing.

What are the benefits of exercising outside?

The benefits of exercising outside include increased Vitamin D intake, exposure to fresh air and nature, enhanced emotional wellbeing, reduced risk of chronic disease, and improved cognitive function.


Exercising in nature is a sure way to improve your health and wellbeing while enjoying the beauty of the environment. From cardiovascular exercise to neuromotor training, there are endless opportunities to explore and train the body. By following tips and safety precautions, including products from trusted brands like Sun Bum, exercising outside can be a fun and safe way to achieve your fitness goals. So, get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and start moving your body for a happier, healthier life.

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