A Guide to Working Out in your Outdoor Living Space

January 9, 2022
A Guide to Working Out in your Outdoor Living Space

Story Highlights

According to research, 90% of people experience increased energy by participating in outdoor activities. Additionally, while outdoors, the body works hard to balance CO2 levels and consume oxygen, both of which require more energy, leading to a higher calorie burn. By increasing your natural energy as well as the calorie burn, moving your workouts outdoors will increase their effectiveness and further improve your health.

Whether you're looking to start a regular at-home routine or simply looking to make up for a missed gym session, your outdoor living space provides the perfect setting for a workout.

Paver patio with outdoor yoga setup with yoga mats and yoga blocks

Use open patio, deck, & Porch space for...


One of yoga’s many beauties is that it can literally be done anywhere. Taking your yoga practice outdoors can transform a stagnant routine into a heightened experience. An outdoor practice has been shown to replenish depleted energy, heighten awareness and grounding, increase confidence, and further boost yoga's meditation benefits.

Light brown PVC deck with cream aluminum railings and outdoor furniture with navy blue cushions and an outdoor lamp

Use Your Railings for...

Barre Workouts

Barre is a form of physical exercise, that is distinguished from other group fitness activities by its use of the ballet barre and its incorporation of movements derived from ballet.

When used for fitness, the barre height is usually 36", the same as the standard railing. If you miss a class or you're looking to start an at-home routine, take your workout onto your patio, deck, or porch and use your railings as a substitute for the barre.

Stone steps lead to a paver patio with lush landscaping

Use your steps guessed it...

Step Aerobics

Whether you have a patio, deck, or porch, it is likely that you have at least a few steps that you can incorporate into your outdoor workout.

Step aerobics was introduced in the 1980s as part of the aerobics craze, and it's still popular in gyms and health clubs. These workouts have all the benefits of a high-intensity cardio workout without putting as much stress on your joints.

Light brown PVC deck steps with landing and aluminum railings

if you have more than a couple, consider...

Climbing Stairs

If your outdoor living space has more than a couple of stairs (preferably 10-12), consider a workout of running or climbing stairs.

Running or climbing stairs is one of the best exercises when it comes to pure fat burn, strengthening the lower body, toning the butt, thighs, calves, losing inches from love handles and belly, and building great abs. Along with these benefits is the immense good it does for your lungs and cardiovascular system.

Stone veneered sitting wall and pillar with mortared bluestone patio and landscaping

Use sitting & Retaining Walls for...

Box, Bench & Chair Exercises

A box, bench, or chair can be a great way to add some variety to your workout routine and make basic bodyweight movements even more challenging without adding weights. Entire workouts have been built around using boxes and bench-only (or chair-only) exercises. All of these exercises transition well to outdoor livings spaces with retaining and sitting walls.

Sitting walls specifically work well for these exercises because their 18" height should perfectly replace benches and chairs.

Gunite swimming pool with automatic cover, bluestone pool decking, bluestone coping, and stone retaining walls

Use your Pool for...

Water Resistance Exercise

Whether it's swimming laps or water aerobics, your pool should be part of your workout routine. Working out in a pool for 30 minutes gives you similar benefits to a two-hour, land-based workout. 

This is the result of the resistance provided by water — the harder you push or pull through it, the more resistance you experience. Additionally, the upward force called “buoyancy” helps to take pressure off of the joints. This transforms normal movement into smoother actions, keeping it low impact.

If you're injured, working out in water is also known for its rehabilitation properties. Water rehabilitation therapy can speed up recovery, is nearly pain-free, and helps the injured move easier.

Gunite pool with stone coping, paver patio decking, stone outdoor fireplace and stone outdoor kitchen with pergola

Utilize open spaces for

HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is performed by completing high-intensity exercises, to increase heart rate to a high level, followed by a period of rest. 

One of the best parts about HIIT workouts is that many regimes are meant to be done "in place" and do not require a lot of space. These workouts are great for the overflow and flex portions of your patio or deck that do not contain any furniture.

Under PVC deck with aluminum railings

Be sure to utilize the area

Under Your Deck

Unless fully finished or turned into storage, the area under a deck is often underutilized. If your deck is high enough, use the area under your deck as a workout area. Proper deck framing provides plenty of sturdy areas for mounting various forms of exercise equipment. Consider installing items like a pull-up bar, battle ropes, TRX bands, a speed bag, and/or a heavy bag.

Pavilion covered paver patio with wood burning outdoor fireplace with outdoor television tv and sound system speakers

Use your Outdoor TV for...

Workout Videos

Whether it's a YouTube class, Peloton session, or something from another app, cast your workout videos to your Outdoor Television. Once the furniture is moved out of the way, your patio or deck will provide plenty of space and the perfect setting for a workout!

Purple coneflowers and black eyed susans in native flower landscape

And don't forget...

Yard Work is Exercise!

There’s something to be said for old-fashioned, outdoor manual labor. It makes you feel accomplished, connects you to nature, and comes with the bonus of burning a lot of calories. Instead of viewing yard work as a chore, shift your mindset to see it as part of a workout regime.

Yard work that includes raking, mowing, weeding, and sweeping provides quality cardiovascular workouts. Strengthening yard work, like lifting/moving heavy pots, chopping wood, mulching, digging, and shoveling snow, provides workouts that target and build every muscle group throughout your entire body.

Holiday Decorating Tips for your Patio or Deck

Holiday Decorating Tips for your Patio or Deck

Whether you're incorporating your outdoor living space into your holiday gatherings or you simply want to see something festive when you look out your back windows, our tips will help you to create a beautiful holiday scene on your patio, deck, or porch.


Tips for Grilled and Smoked Chili

Tips for Grilled and Smoked Chili

Whether it's for a game day party, a chili cook off, or just a run of the mill Tuesday, we recommend kicking your chili up a notch by making it outdoors. In this article we provide all of the tips you need to prepare chili on your grill or smoker.


Landscape Plants That Create Stunning Bouquets

Landscape Plants That Create Stunning Bouquets

In this article, we suggest a wide variety of landscape plants that can be used to make wonderful and unique flower arrangements. We hope that this comprehensive list inspires you to start clipping the garden and bringing it inside!

Test ToolTip