Don’t you just love running on the treadmill?
Yeah, we don’t like it very much either.
There’s a reason why it’s sometimes jokingly called the “dreadmill” or the “human hamster wheel” - because it can get really boring really fast.
Luckily, Fall is in the air and the change of seasons is the perfect time to shake up your workouts and take your fitness outdoors.
Not only is it a cheap and easy way to turn your sweat session into a mini-adventure, but you could reap some health benefits too.
Here’s a list of 11 fun and creative ways to take your workout outside this season.
1. Check out a local park
If you want to experience the fresh air and sunshine while you’re working up a sweat, do a quick search of local parks in your area that can accommodate your needs.
Most municipalities will have a list on their government website that will also include details about parking, restrooms, and other on-site facilities.
This way, you will know what to expect before you go and can plan ahead.
2. Map out a new walking, running, or biking route
If you want to try a new route, but also need to make sure you log your mileage, you can use online tools to draw out turn-by-turn directions before you head out.
We like tracker apps such as Map my Run, Strava, and Garmin Connect because they are free and easy to use. For example, simply plug in your route details in Map My Run, and it will let you know the total distance and elevation you’ll travel. You can make tweaks to avoid busy intersections or construction, and save the path for future sessions.
3. Search for water sport options
Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy some time on the water. Kayaking or canoeing doesn’t require you to get wet, and rowing is an amazing full-body workout with serious health benefits.
If you live in the south and your temps are still in the 90’s, you can also look at options like paddleboarding or paddleboard yoga to try something new that will challenge your muscles in exciting ways.
4.Invest in portable, versatile equipment
If you’re a dedicated gym goer, moving your routine outside might seem impossible. While it’s true that you can’t bring the squat rack, bench, and a plethora of dumbbells with you to a park or track, you can still hit your goals if you have a few essential pieces of versatile exercise equipment.
Items like resistance bands, a high-quality yoga mat *cough, cough*, and a kettlebell are relatively inexpensive and will give you dozens of exercise options to build strength, torch calories, and tone muscles.
If you’re stuck in a gym rut, one of the best ways to change up your routine when you take it outside is to leave technology out of your session.
Try running without music or a timer, and instead use landmarks to boost your intensity. For example, you could jog at an easy pace between one set of mailboxes, and then pick up the intensity between the next two. Finish it off with an all-out sprint before you recover and start the pattern over again.
Use your time outdoors to take in your surroundings, appreciate nature, listen to the ambient noises and connect with yourself. It’s a powerful way to boost your mood and clear your mind.
6.Visit a track
Another fun way to change up your routine is to take advantage of a track workout. At 400 meters around, tracks are the perfect distance for running intervals or trying out some fun new movements like a lap of burpee broad jumps, skipping, lunging, or high knees.
(Okay, so the word “fun” there is all relative, but you know what we mean).
Many high schools have a track available, and you can call and see if and when it’s open to the public. Rec centers are another good place to check, as are college campuses.
7. Use nature as a prop
Turn your workout into an adventure by incorporating the outdoors into your movements.
If there’s a knee-high boulder that has a flat, stable surface, you can use it for step ups, box jumps, or incline push-ups.
A tree stump might be the perfect height for some glute bridges or triceps dips.
Get creative with your surroundings and challenge your muscles in new ways.
8. Find a hill or incline
Even if you live somewhere that’s flat as a pancake (like Central Florida, for example), you still might be able to find an incline that you can use to increase the intensity of your walking, jogging, running, lunging, and more.
Highway overpasses with a wide sidewalk or bike lane, empty parking garages, or golf courses that are closed for the season are great places to look.
Create a workout where you make your way up the hill doing your favorite movement, hit some bodyweight exercise like squats, lunges, and push-ups at the top, and then recover on the way down. Repeat it a few times, and we guarantee you’ll be feeling the burn!
9.Use your bodyweight
The best part about bodyweight exercises is that you can do them literally anywhere, which makes them an awesome choice for outdoor sessions.
You can try our “No Gym, No Problem” bodyweight workout outdoors for a 30-minute whole-body session that’s guaranteed to have you sweating and shaking (in a good way) when you’re finished.
10. Join a local rec league
If team sports are your jam, then search for adult rec leagues in your community. Fall is a prime time for some favorites like kickball or dodgeball, and you might be surprised when you see some of the options out there.
Not only is it a fun way to get active, but you might also make new friends in the process.
11. Look for outdoor classes
Beautiful weather means opportunities to join in on actives like yoga in the park, boot camp classes, tai chi, and more.
These options will be lead by certified instructors who guide you through the movements. All you need to do is show up and give it your best effort.