For the workout-averse, spending some time in the sun and fresh air can help make your exertion more enjoyable. And for exercise fanatics, the beautiful summer weather can take your endorphins from enjoyment to euphoria. Here are six exercises to consider as you take advantage of your natural surroundings:

  1. Hill Sprints

There’s nothing more monotonous than a long treadmill workout, but during the long winter it’s one of the only ways to experience true resistance in your cardio exercise. Take advantage of geography’s natural resistance by introducing regular hill sprints to your cardio regimen.

Hill sprints improve both speed and stamina

Hill sprints improve both speed and stamina

You won’t need to do many repetitions of this high-intensity exercise. Try working your way up 12 reps: 5 at 50% exertion, 5 at 75% exertion, and 2 all-out sprints. Be sure to warm up with light jogging and dynamic stretching beforehand and cool down with another light jog to conclude.

  1. Open Water Swimming

If you spent the cold season toiling away at an indoor pool, you’ve probably been counting down the days until it’s possible to start swimming in open water. Open water swimming is a great alternative to working out in a pool because of the gentle current and endless lengths without the need to turn around. Take advantage of the wide expanses of water by practicing long, uninterrupted stretches of swimming. After a healthy warm-up, time yourself with a waterproof watch and see how long you can swim at medium exertion without rest. Re-test yourself each week and see how your stamina improves over the course of the summer.

  1. Mountain Hiking

Not every terrain is suitable for hill sprints, but most peaks are worth exploring in some way, shape, or form! Conquer your nearby mountains with all-day hikes; bring along a fitness partner and enjoy the natural beauty of Australia’s mountains.You may not notice the immediate benefits of your workout as you take in the scenic surroundings, but you will when you wake up the next morning! Nothing burns quite so good as the full-body soreness that follows a daylong hike. Interested in exploring some steeper terrain? Invest in some trekking poles to help you stay safe when going up difficult inclines.

  1. Jumping Rope

Want to take advantage of the beautiful weather but don’t have time to head to the hills or the beach? You can get in a great workout in your driveway with nothing but a jump rope. Go for a short, high-intensity workout by alternating between techniques like single-leg jumps, alternating-leg jumps, and double-unders. Short rest intervals will keep your heart pounding and help you shed the weight from your winter hibernation.

  1. Beach Running

If you live near the beach, you have no excuse not to use one of nature’s great exercise locations. Running on sand requires a greater level of exertion than running on pavement or more stable terrain. Like hill sprints, beach running can improve calf strength, stamina, and speed. Try to plan your workout for low tide, when there’s a good amount of accessible wet sand. Run as close to the water as possible without getting your feet wet; soft, dry sand provides more resistance but will be much less pleasant to endure. (If you’re looking for a truly grueling workout, however, be our guest!)

  1. Outdoor Sports

Many people prefer to get their exercise from team sports, rather than individual workouts. The beautiful summer weather gives you more opportunities to play sports like basketball, football, and beach volleyball. Check to see if your city has any volunteer leagues or just get a group of friends together and head to a basketball court. Spend a couple of hours playing and we’re sure you’ll feel the burn.