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Exercise Outdoors with Sports and Games

Family playing cricket in backyard



Do you feel your best when you are active but lack time or motivation to drive to the gym, your local rec centre, or a public swimming pool? Would you love to spend more time practicing your putting, improving your flexibility, or enhancing your overall health? How about spending more quality time with your kids while helping them learn healthy lifestyle habits? If any of these statements resonate with you, then expanding and enhancing your outdoor living space may be right up your (outdoor bowling) alley!


If you are not sure where to start adding more outdoor sports and games to your yard, this post can help! See below for some fun ideas for exercising outdoors and incorporating more play into your outdoor living space. 


Read on to learn more!



Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

In Canada, we only have so many months of hot and sunny weather, so many people like to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the cooler weather sets in.


Most of us also spend too much time inside overall and are eager to get outside. So, why not take every opportunity to fully enjoy the nicest months of the year whenever we get the chance?  


There are also many benefits of exercising outdoors, including:

  • Boosting mood
  • Improving mental health
  • Relieving stress
  • Increasing vitamin D
  • Breathing fresh air
  • Convenience


While it may be tempting to sit indoors and scroll while a beautiful day passes us by, it is much more rewarding and healthier to exercise outdoors!


Luckily, there are many ways you can incorporate sports and games into your yard, including:

  • Court and racket sports
  • Ice hockey/skating
  • Putting (golf)
  • Yoga
  • Classic backyard games
  • Oversized versions of table/board games  
  • Swimming and water sports


We dive into some of these below.



Building a Court in Your Yard

If you or your children love to play court or racket sports like basketball, pickleball, tennis, ball hockey, or volleyball, then consider building an outdoor court or recreational sport surface in your yard.



Close up on a tennis ball on a court


You'll never miss a practice again, and your friends and family are sure to enjoy the luxury and convenience of having a court so close to home.


Outdoor courts are available in a variety of standard sizes as well as custom designs to suit your needs. You can also choose from a list of court materials, as many court builders offer patented products designed to withstand the harsh Canadian elements for years to come.


Outdoor court surface technology is continuously evolving to maximize drainage, perfect traction, reduce skin abrasion, and minimize joint strain and fatigue. Some even use recycled materials. Your local court building company will be able to help you choose the best option for your space and budget.


Don’t forget to consider adding a fence around your outdoor sports court too to keep your kids safe and reduce the risk of stray balls damaging your house, car, or gardens!



Converting Your Outdoor Sports Court into an Ice Rink

Inevitably, the hot summer days will turn cooler, and the snow will fall before we know it. Luckily though, this (usually unwelcomed) reality does not mean that your outdoor exercising days are over until spring! Instead of closing your outdoor court completely, consider converting it into a skating rink!


Most outdoor courts can be modified to accommodate natural ice or refrigerated ice rink systems. Court builders can even add hockey boards if you have a medium or large court and like to host hockey games or practice your shots. Ask your builder about this option when you first speak about your vision for the project or add it later when you are ready to diversify the uses for your outdoor court.



Installing a Putting Green

Do you love to golf, but find it tough to make it to the green around your busy schedule? Is your putt feeling a little rusty? Or do you simply want to enjoy the luxury and comfort of having a putting green in your own backyard?


Then you should make a call to your local landscape designer or backyard golf course installer!


Backyard putting greens can be worked into your existing landscaping while significantly elevating your home. You will also benefit from the increased property value if you choose to sell in the future. You will never regret spending more time on the green or improving your game.  



Constructing a Yoga Platform

Have you ever thought about trying yoga or are you already a seasoned yogi?



Woman doing yoga on backyard deck


Yoga is fantastic way to improve your energy level while increasing flexibility as well as muscle strength and tone. Regular yoga practice can also boost your mood, metabolism, and circulatory health. Many people also use yoga for stress management and to increase mindfulness.


One of the best parts of yoga is that you do not need to make a large investment to get started! All you really need is a mat and a free guided Youtube video. However, you can also opt to create a space in your yard dedicated to yoga, where you can enjoy a quiet, private, and cozy space outdoors.


A yoga platform can be a simple, yet sturdy raised platform built into your deck or constructed as a fully separate area somewhere else in your yard. It can be covered or open and be any height that works for you. As a bonus, a yoga platform can also be used for stretching or general mat/floor exercises.


If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, consider building a multi-use pergola suitable for exercising, dining, lounging, and entertaining. Add some string lights to set the mood or choose a screened design if bugs are a concern.

Talk to a custom deck builder Premier to discuss your vision for an outdoor yoga platform or multi-use pergola.



Timeless Backyard Games

Of course, we cannot forget to talk about timeless backyard games that are fun for people of all ages. Backyard games are also a cost-effective way to add more play to your holidays, evenings, and weekends.


Some of our favourite outdoor games include:

  • Horseshoes
  • ladder ball
  • tetherball
  • corn hole
  • croquet
  • bocce ball


If you’re sitting down with a landscape designer, make sure you discuss creating an area where you can incorporate a space for your favourite games as part of your backyard design.


Play these games to get yourself and your kids moving after being stuck inside all day, or rally some friends and family together for a friendly weekend tournament. Pair the tournament with a cooler full of cold beverages and get the BBQ fired up for a casual event that everyone will enjoy.



Oversized Versions of Popular Games

Gigantic versions of popular table and board games have also been trending over the last decade. They are frequently played at backyard weddings and events, but why not have fun with these games at your own home?


Popular oversized games include:

  • Jenga
  • Twister
  • Checkers/chess
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Dominos
  • Connect Four


If you are handy, you can build some of the game pieces yourself. You can also get some friends together to work on this fun DIY project. Once complete, everyone’s kids will love playing outside with the gigantic versions of their favourite games. These activities are also a hoot for the adults too! 



Adding a Swimming Pool

Last but not least for outdoor exercise ideas is installing a swimming pool or home lap pool.



Ladder leading into backyard pool with blue water


Swimming for exercise is a great option for boosting your cardiovascular health and engaging all parts of your body.


Traditional pools or deeper lap pools can also be the perfect place to do low-impact exercises like water aerobics. In addition, you can add a net or hoop to your pool for volleyball and basketball.


If you are installing a pool, be sure to also plan for fencing for safety and privacy purposes.




In conclusion, exercising outdoors is a fun and enjoyable way to spend more time outside, build memories with your loved ones, and improve your overall mental and physical health.


These days, the options for adding outdoor recreation spaces to your yard are unlimited. For example, with a reasonable budget, it is not out of reach to build an outdoor court, have a skating rink, install a putting green, or construct an outdoor yoga space! There are likely companies near your region that can work within your vision and budget. Don't forget to think about decks and fencing to increase privacy and safety too!


If space or budget is limited, there are still many ways for you to inject more fun and play into your outdoor living areas. For example, add a horseshoe court to your yard or purchase outdoor games like ladder ball, croquet, or corn hole to liven up your family gatherings and get everyone moving. If you are handy, consider building oversized versions of popular board and table games like Jenga, Scrabble, or Checkers! 


No matter which ways you choose to add more opportunities for exercise and fun into your outdoor living space, we know that your body, your family, and all your guests will appreciate your investments in health, well-being, and leisure.



Make the Most of Your Yard with Premier

Are you thinking about exercising more in your yard? Do you need a new deck or fence to increase privacy, contain your new outdoor court, or complement your pool?


Then Decks by Premier wants to connect with you! Our team of deck and fence builders serves the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and surrounding areas, and we are happy to help make your vision come to life!


We've been serving homeowners like you for over 90 years, and our reputation for quality work is unmatched!


Reach out to us to schedule your no-obligation, on-site consultation! 




Paul Hickman at 9:00 AM
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