YWM BLOG

More to Fitness than the Gym: Spice Up Your Routine Outside!

outside running exercise

When many of us think about fitness, our minds drift to images of the gym and all of the workout equipment that can sometimes be difficult to navigate. While there’s nothing wrong with using the gym to accomplish your specific fitness goals (it’s a very useful and purposeful fitness environment), it may not be the ideal workout location for everyone. Or, perhaps you’re a regular at your local gym but you’re looking to spice up your workout routine.

The Benefits of an Outside Workout

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay active, work toward your goals and enjoy your exercise in other places — and getting outside is one of them! An outdoor workout can provide a host of benefits, including:

  • Variety in your fitness routine
  • Low cost (or even free!)
  • Changes in scenery to keep things fresh
  • Elevated mood changes (mental health benefits)

What Types of Fitness Activities Can I Do Outside?

Just because there are no expensive pieces of exercise equipment outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t put in an effective total-body workout! Consider these fun and beneficial activities for getting out and getting active.

  • Search for Local Hiking Areas – Many cities and towns have local areas where you can hike or explore the area on designated trails and/or paths. Consider wilderness preserves, state parks or even national parks if you live near one!
  • Visit a Park or Recreation Center – Parks and/or recreation centers often have many opportunities for exercise such as basketball courts, tennis courts and running paths. Some places even offer resistance training stations with posted signs that demonstrate an example workout.
  • Take to the Water – Swimming is an excellent exercise that works your entire body due to the resistance of wading through water. Or, if you don’t want to swim, you can get an excellent upper-body workout by kayaking or canoeing on a nearby river or lake.
  • Use Your Wheels – Don’t forget about the simplicity of biking! Consistent pedaling is a great workout for burning calories and building muscle, especially if you take some time to bike uphill.
  • Participate in a Sport – Be it individually or with a group, sports are a wonderful way to get moving and find your competitive spirit. See what kind of fields, courts and facilities are offered in your area and pick something that interests you!
  • Utilize the Beach – If you live along the coast, the beach is an excellent place to work out. Simply walking, jogging or running on the sand adds a large amount of resistance to your routine.
  • Simply Move – You may not even need to leave your home or neighborhood to fit in a good workout! Simple exercises like brisk walks, jumping rope, hula-hooping, yoga and plenty of stationary exercises are excellent ways to get active.

Adding outdoor workouts can be an excellent way to boost your mental and physical health while avoiding some of the high costs of the gym and home equipment. See what types of activities are feasible in your local area, and then go from there!

Looking for Other Ways to Spice Up Your Routine?

There are other ways to keep things fresh besides venturing outdoors. For more ideas, CLICK HERE to see what we’ve suggested in a previous blog post!

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