More runners on the sidewalk, more cyclists on the street, more pick-up games on outdoor courts—the sure signs of spring are here, even if the COVID-19 crisis has us standing six feet apart from each other. And what do all these asphalt athletes have in common? They all know one thing: Nothing beats a workout under the warmth of the sun, and for good reason.

The benefits of outdoor training certainly aren’t limited to cardio workouts. All you need is a park bench. Pushups (wide and narrow grips) and bench dips work the entire upper body. Bench jump-ups and split squats (put your back foot on top of the bench) provide a killer workout for the quads, hammies, glutes and core. Tap into your inner child by hopping onto a kid’s jungle gym to punch-proof your core, or grab a set of monkey bars for a superset of pullsups and leg raises.

There are also more resources than ever to find a park for your workout style. Calisthenics parks are popping up; find one near you. May is Bike to Work Month—and biking to work is probably more feasible than you’d think. Road races abound for people of all abilities and experience, so check out the national directory of 5k-10k-half marathon runs. And for those who want more of a challenge, try an obstacle course race this year.

For so many of us, the summer season is way too short. There’s plenty of time to work out indoors during the rest of the year. So make the most of the season, get outside and get moving. It’s fun….and it’s free! Here are five more reasons training outdoors is a boost for body, mind and soul.

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