How to Shape Up Without Hitting the Gym

HiDow guy hiking and overlooking a mountain

If you love working out, you probably just go to the gym every day and rely on the different fancy equipment they have. Whether be it the treadmill, the stationary bicycle, the bench press, the exercise ball, you name it– they will all help you get in shape and fit as ever. But sometimes, it’s just so much better to do outdoor activities.

Fitness Outside the Gym

Hitting the gym is fun especially when you are dedicated to achieving your fitness goals. The endorphins that are released every after work out makes you forget all the pain and sweat you shed throughout your intense routine. Plus, the benefits you gain in the long run makes everything worth it. However, your routines may become too boring if you keep on doing them every day and if you enclose your fitness activities in the four corners of the gym. So why not try heading out for more fun and exciting physical activities? Give your workouts a different twist by trying these physical activities that will help you shape up without even having to hit the gym.

1. Hiking

Want a tremendous leg workout along with the cardiovascular benefits without the same old routine in the gym? Look for a relaxing atmosphere with magnificent scenery and enjoy the challenge of up and down movements that hiking brings. Listening to the chirping of the birds and feeling the cool breeze of the outdoors won’t feel like a workout at all especially when you’re with a friend!

2. Kayaking

Although kayaking is mainly an upper-body sport, it also works the muscles of the center of your body, back, and stomach. If you are a beginner, you should know that you shouldn’t rely mostly on your arms, but rather on your core. To prepare for this activity, work out your shoulder, abs, and lower back.

3. Cycling

An excellent cardiovascular exercise, bicycling can take you to places and make you explore your neighborhood and favorite parks. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone– you don’t only target your quadriceps, but also go places and enjoy the fresh air outdoors! Just make sure to find a bike that fits your body perfectly.

Related: Five Signs Your Workout is Not Challenging Enough

4. Swimming

Tone your arms and legs without being hard on your joints. In fact, this activity is perfect for people who have muscle or joint problems because the weightlessness of water makes exercise pain-free. It’s a great cardiovascular workout that increases your stamina and helps ward off diabetes, high blood pressure, and also relieves stress.

Related: 3 Healthy Tips to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

5. Running/ Jogging

A terrific way to strengthen your heart and lungs, and improve your stamina is to put on your running shoes (and sports bra for women) and start jogging around your favorite neighborhood. Just don’t forget to pay attention to the surface on which you run. Also, start slow and increase your time or distance by no more than 10% each week.

The Bottom Line

Working out and getting fit doesn’t always have to happen in the gym. For some, the gym is a dreadful place to be, but they find ways to exercise anyway. On the other hand, there are dedicated gym junkies who would go to the gym every day but also want to do something spontaneous every once in a while! Whichever group you fit in, going outdoors for exercise is always a fun idea you should try.

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