Maybe you don’t have or want to spend the money on a gym pass. Maybe you are getting really sick of your workout videos and could recite them by heart without even watching them. Maybe your house is a little too small for a weight set or your downstairs neighbor is tired of your jumping jacks giving the house mini earthquakes. My favorite place to exercise is absolutely free and fun and is right outside any front door. This is the best time of the year to get outside and start treating your body to some fresh air while you exercise. When I say go exercise outside, I am not only suggesting you to go for a run. Let’s have some creativity, here. While running is an option, below are several different ways to exercise outside in our nice summer weather.
Go for a run along the beach or in the park.
We’re going to kick this running one off right from the start of the list. Running is great for your body and even better when done in clean, fresh air rather than the hot, dusty air in the gym. Run along the grass in your favorite park to protect your joints. If you are lucky enough to live by a beach, run along the damp sand. It’s easier to get yourself running if you get to look forward to going to the beach every day. Give yourself an extreme leg work out every couple of days. Kick off your shoes, and run on the dry sand. Your feet will be working hard to get free, and your legs will be tested on the uneven surface.
Ride a bike trail.
Switch up your cardio with a bike ride every once in a while. It will work different leg muscles than running and keep your body guessing. Riding along busy, city streets will keep you stopping and could be dangerous. Look up a local bike trail. These are usually more scenic than city streets and provide a long open road that won’t make you stop until you need a break. These trails will usually take you through parks, forests, or mountains, past cliffs, river beds, or oceans. See a side of you home you never have before while getting your exercise in!
Take an outdoor yoga or other fitness class.
Some fitness classes are offered exclusively outside while others will hold occasional outdoor sessions. Outdoor yoga (especially on the beach) is one of the most incredible ways to get a workout. That is purely an opinion. I can understand the difficulty of getting yourself to enjoy staying in a muggy classroom, gym, or studio for a full class. Sign up for the outdoor sessions and find yourself getting more excited to go, your body more refreshed after the class, and your lungs healthier from the fresh air.
Put yourself through drills.
Head out to a local field or park, and bring yourself some water bottles, a timer, and some sweat bands. You really don’t need all those things, but people around you will start to think you’re the real deal training for some huge competition, and then things get fun. Make a list on your note pad of your training drills and record your times if you want to feel even more legit. Start out with some sprints, suicides, karaoke runs, lunges, butt kicks, and high knees. Try to get even faster times. Push yourself as hard as you can go, and don’t stop until you’re worn out. You’re in training, for heaven sakes! There are no pansies allowed on that field! Or at least keep telling yourself that to get the best workout you can.
Play some sports.
Get a group together for a pickup game of baseball, soccer, football, volleyball, or whatever sport suits your fancy. A baseball game only requires three people to get your exercise sprinting for pop-flies all over the park. Football only requires four. Just be careful with your trash talk so you can remain friends with your group after the tight game. Volleyball only requires two for the most tiring game you have ever played.
Swim along the coast (or in a pool).
Swimming is the best way to exercise in the summer. Do some laps to cool down your body, get some cardio in, and burn some calories. If you have a beach or river near you and are in for the extra challenge, swim some laps against the current for the ultimate body workout. Once you’re done, you are already in the perfect spot to treat your body to a relaxing break.
Sign up for a fun 5k or other themed run.
I’ll admit it, sometimes running could use a little excitement. Sign up for a 5k. A little competition might be all the thrill and motivation you need. Many communities also offer themed races and runs to add extra fun to the exercise. Sign up for the Mud or Color Run with your friends. Check out what other runs and races your community offers.
Set up a relay race.
Competition is one of my favorite ways to get active. Competition on a team might be all the motivation you need because you are running for a cause: your team’s pride. Okay, maybe you’re not as competitive as some of us, which is definitely for the best, but a team competition will push you harder. Get a team together and set up or join a race. You’ll have the perfect support group and the best people to celebrate with after you win or just do your best.
There are some seriously fun and refreshing ways to get your exercise outside. Take the opportunity while you still can and take it outside!