For people who don’t have a gym membership, staying in shape can be tough. I don’t mean staying “skinny” – I mean having a bad ass strong bod regardless of your shape or size. Fit is fit.
Even if you have a gym membership, regular exercise routines surrounded by strangers and intimidating equipment can get old. This summer, take it outside and get fit while having a good time. As a huge outdoors person, these are some of my favorite activities for the summer that always leave me sore (but feeling amazing!) the next day.
Yoga (bonus points if it’s outdoors!)
Yoga is always a good idea. ALWAYS. You can do yoga year-round and in a studio, but while the weathers nice, you can probably find an outdoor class. I stumbled upon the free yoga class in the park I’ve been attending through Facebook. Facebook is full of amazing events in your area that you had no idea about! They won’t all be free, but you might get lucky like I did. My time flowing through poses with the breeze on my skin and the open blue sky above me have become sacred to me, while also getting me in shape!
This is a great activity to do with a friend, so you can belay each other. Belaying may seem difficult and stressful at first, but really, the rope does most of the work. All rock climbing gyms have belay classes for you to take and trust me, you will be sore after an hour rock climbing. Groupon has deals pretty regularly at various rock climbing gyms, although the regular price is usually pretty doable once you take a belay class. If you need upper body strength, don’t have a fear of heights, and love more adventurous activities, this is a great way to exercise.
Paddleboarding is the fitness activity for people who don’t know how to surf. You get to go out into the water with your board, but without riding terrifyingly large waves! This is a really great one to do if you’re at the beach for a vacation. Look for a rental in your area. In some places, you can also go paddleboarding out on a lake. It’s definitely more of a challenge in the ocean with waves, but either way you will feel your abs the next day!
Not everyone may have easy access to this kind of activity since it usually requires a lake or a river. However, if you can find a place to rent a canoe or kayak for a few hours (and know how to work one), this is a great outdoors activity to tone your arms and your abs! If you have never been in a canoe before, I would suggest a class or a trip with a guide. Also, make sure you pick your location wisely. If you’re a beginner, waterfalls and rapids are not a great idea.
This one is probably the least common, but the most rewarding. One really great volunteer organization that will help you get fit while you give back is Habitat For Humanity. When you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, you get assigned to a site where you help to build a home. Working construction may not be glamorous but it will definitely get you in shape, and it will help out someone in need. Visit their website to find projects near you.