Top 5 Ways to Get Exercise Outside of the Gym

This past weekend my wife, dog, and I found some DNR land and went on a long hike. While my wife loves walks, I typically prefer getting all of my daily exercise done in the gym. I consider myself in relatively decent shape, but to my surprise I was getting much more winded while hiking than I would have anticipated. By the end of the hike I was spent (and it seemed like my wife and dog could have kept going for hours!). It dawned on me that this is the type of exercise I’ve been neglecting – low intensity, long duration, plain old walking (albeit up and down some savage hills…). It was a fantastic workout and was fun as hell. Plus, it didn’t take place in a gym.

I know a lot of people who want (and maybe NEED) to start exercising, but they are simply uncomfortable with a gym setting. I get it, the gym has a lot of stigmas and can be a source of anxiety for a lot of people. While I honestly think that the FASTEST road to health and fitness is group fitness classes or personal training, for some people reading this it might just be too intimidating or you might not be able to access a gym. Let’s not let that stop you from working on your health and fitness. Let’s get you exercising outside a gym and maybe, eventually, you can find a gym you’re comfortable with.

1.  At Home Workouts

This is a no brainer, but a lot of people don’t know how to workout at home. The fact of the matter is that you can get an awesome workout at home with little to no equipment. If you don’t know where to start, go here to find 5 great workouts you can do at home, or here to learn how to write your own workout to fit your needs. Of course it’s much better to have a coach watching you perform these movements and fixing your technique, but any workout is better than none.

2. Go on a Walk/Run/Hike

Walking has been proven to give you more energy, elevate your mood, and help you lose weight. We often forget that simply walking is an amazing workout. Hiking, in my opinion, is even better! If you are in desperate need for some exercise and motivation, make a habit of taking a 30 minute to 1 hour walk every day. You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel and soon you’ll be in a routine of setting aside time for exercise. Your dog will enjoy it too!

3. Play Recreational Sports

Sports, much like hiking, are great workouts because you aren’t even thinking about the fact that you’re working out. All cities have recreational sports leagues (basketball, softball, volleyball, et.) that adults can join and that aren’t too competitive. Hell, even something like scootering or rollerblading is going to be fun and get you movin’! You’ll be sweating up a storm before you know it.

4. Go Camping

Not “Glamping”. I’m talkin’ real camping. Canoeing, portaging, setting up your tent, getting firewood, cooking your meals, the whole 9 yards. Camping is an absolutely amazing workout because of all of the manual work that needs to be done! Just remember to put your food in a bag and suspend it away from a tree with a bear rope before you go to sleep. Even if there aren’t bears in your area, it’s hard as heck and guaranteed to get you out of breath and your forearms burnin’. Maybe even purposely tip your friends’ canoes so they get a nice little swimming workout in?

5. Finally Get That Yard Work Done

Weeding, mowing the lawn, picking up sticks, getting chased by bees, these are all things that you have probably been neglecting anyway, but are good for your health because you’ll be moving! Be sure to use proper form when lifting objects off the ground. Sometimes the littlest thing like moving the lawn will make you feel better and get you out of your sedentary funk you’ve been in!