U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Amaia Unanue/Released

If you think that self-quarantine orders mean nothing but boring workouts in the corner of your room, think again. Well, in a sense, your options are limited..by your imagination. It's time to dust off that creativity muscle.

Most of us are sick of the order to stay home and since exercising outdoors is still considered essential you might as well make the most out of it.That is, as long as you stay far enough away from everyone.


So, if you're having trouble figuring out a way to train that doesn't just include bodyweight squats and planking, fear not.

I've got you covered with a few outdoor challenges that are sure to keep you interested and in shape.

Evade-fight-escape

How to make your outdoor workouts more exciting.

Run! When you get caught fight. Escape and run until your veins pump battery acid.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Gabrielle Sanders

Heading out for a run is the most obvious answer to your craving for exercise outdoors. But running the same route at the same pace each day can get repetitive. Instead, try to mix things up by adding other exercises.

To do this workout, decide on a total distance that you want to run, like 2-4 miles.

But keep in mind, this can't be a leisurely jog if you want a challenge. Instead, run at a pace where even a half-mile is tricky. If you can go further, you're not running hard enough. For fun and extra motivation imagine a zombie, mugger, cougar is chasing you.

Now, once you hit that plateau where you need a break, the fun starts.

Take 10-20 seconds to catch your breath (or don't cougars don't need to catch their breath) and immediately jump into a three-exercise circuit. To make things simple, try to hit your upper body, core, and lower body with these three exercises. Good examples include crucifix push-ups, punching planks, and mule kicks.

Your circuit, depending on your fitness level, should look like this:

  1. 30-second plank
  2. 10-15 mule kicks
  3. 10-20 crucifix push-ups

Now, that order is smart since, after that half-mile run, you're going to be winded. A 30-second plank might challenge your core, but it also gives you a chance to catch your breath.

Once you finish the circuit, take a quick breather and get back on the run. Repeat this process every half-mile or whenever you need a break. Whichever comes first is best.

Just remember, if you haven't been running much before the quarantine, your endurance is going to suck. Take the rest you feel is necessary and do your best to improve whenever you repeat the workout.

Fight night

How to make your outdoor workouts more exciting.

You think you're a fighter already. Go ahead and actually test your endurance.

U.S. Air Force photo/Trang Le

Have you ever watched a Rocky fight go the distance and imagined the endurance required to make it into round 12?

The thing is, if you've ever worked a punching bag for even just a minute straight, you know it takes incredible endurance. And that's only one minute!

Instead, I like to use a round-based workout to simulate some of the demands you might encounter during a fight. While you won't get to connect any punches (unless you have a heavy bag), the movements involved will still challenge your cardio endurance like nothing before.

Here's an example:

3 Rounds @ 90% Intensity for 60 seconds each

  • Skip rope
  • Cross jabs
  • Vertical knee strikes
  • Sprawling burpees
  • Punching plank

Once you finish, take a two-minute rest. And when I say take a rest, I mean it.

More rest will mean you can train harder once the next round starts. If you can start another round without taking two minutes, you need to go harder.

Now, of course, this workout can be done inside. If you can manage to get out, try replacing exercises like skipping rope and high knees with others, like a few sprints or a 60-second run.

If you're one of those that watch MMA and think that you can do it no problem, do five of these five minute rounds, imagine how much harder it would be with someone punching you in the face, and reassess.

The one-mile lunge

How to make your outdoor workouts more exciting.

Start off smiling...Finish smiling...It's those 1500 lunges in the middle to be worried about.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Ripley

You read that right: Lunge for one mile.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity, though. If you've never performed more than 20 consecutive lunges in a row, you're in for a rude awakening.

Lunges are an excellent exercise since they tax your quads and hamstrings, depending on your stride length. Plus, if you're moving at a fast pace, consecutive lunges will test both your muscle and cardiovascular endurance.

Not to mention, for most of you, this is going to take well over an hour to complete. To finish, you're going to have to stay mentally hard, or else, you'll quit.

Some tips to get through this challenge:

  1. Know your limits. If you need to start with a quarter-mile or a half-mile instead, do it. The actual length doesn't matter as long as it's challenging.
  2. Don't cheat. The only way you get to brag about this feat is if you actually finish it. If you take a step that isn't a lunge, step back and finish it. If you cheat, what's the point?
  3. Listen to your body. This challenge is going to suck, and there's a good chance your legs will cramp. If they do, stretch out and continue. If it gets bad, suck it up, call it a day, and try again when you're muscles are healed and ready.

Just use your head

How to make your outdoor workouts more exciting.

There's nothing boring about the combat or goal you're training for. If your workout is boring are you really training?

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Margaret Gale

When I was just a youngin' we would go on fun-runs on Fridays down by the creek (pronounced "crick"). It involved 5 miles of jumping over logs, wading through the water, swinging from trees limbs, and avoiding hobo camps. It was fun.

When we "become" adults we fool ourselves into thinking that things are supposed to feel like work. Shake off your imagination and let your workout get fun again.

Or for the masochists out there just lunge a mile and sleep happy,