Summer is a great time to change up your workouts. Get out of the gym and into the fresh air!
Cut loose the chains that tie you to machines and re-acquaint yourself with the natural ways your body moves.
You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy fitness in the outdoors.
Go for a hike. That can just mean a walk on wooded trails or it can mean rugged terrain. Either way, your body will have to respond to subtle changes in the ground to keep you balanced and moving forward. That’s something you don’t get on the smooth, consistently paced treadmill.
Get on a bicycle. Unexpected dips and rises of the road and big ol’ hills will work your leg muscles in ways that the stationary bike at the gym won’t (even if you change the resistance).
Take strength training outside. You can do pushups, lunges, and squats anywhere. Chances are you can find a public playground where you can do pull-ups and triceps dips and all kinds of other body weight exercises. Need some ideas? Let me know!
My favorite: Take a dog for a walk. If you don’t have one, walk a neighbor’s dog or go to your local animal shelter to volunteer as a dog walker. Make it a brisk walk (or even a jog depending on your fitness level and that of the dog). Chances are, especially if it’s a shelter dog, he’ll want to stop and check things out so you’ll have plenty of breaks if you’re not used to the pace, but you’ll benefit in the way you would from interval workouts in the gym. The dog will love it and you’ll have so much fun you’ll forget that you’re exercising. Don’t forget to bring water for the pup.
Whatever you do outside, you’ll reap the benefits of fresh air and the natural challenges of the terrain and climate. Just be mindful of heat and humidity and always drink plenty of water before, during and after your outdoor workouts.