You walk through those doors, stare at rows of exercise equipment and muscular men and women pouring sweat while awkwardly standing there with a water bottle and towel not having a clue where to begin.
Let’s face it, the gym is not for everyone.
But there’s good news. Nature and the great wide world offer plenty of opportunities for those of us who can’t stomach the gym.
Even better, it offers a host of ways to mindlessly get some fitness in and not think about it.
With that in mind, we rounded up 9 ways to exercise outdoors without feeling like you’re exercising.
1. Go for a walk.
It’s the most obvious for a reason — it truly is one of the best forms of exercise, and it gives you an opportunity to enjoy nature, chat with friends and keep your body moving in the most low-impact way possible.
2. Go for a hike.
When you’re ready to take the whole walking thing to the next level, hikes are truly in a league of their own. Walking uphill means a higher calorie-burn, plus, since hikes tend to be in the mountains, you get to enjoy a level of nature not typically seen around the neighborhood.
3. Take a bike ride.
This is particularly good for people who have knee or foot issues because it allows you to take in the world via low-impact pedaling. There’s no right or wrong speed either, just pedal as far as you can and enjoy everything around you.
4. Do some gardening.
It may sound simple, but gardening is actually a great way to get moving. Shoveling, trimming, planting and moving dirt around torches some serious calories. Plus, there’s the added benefit of watching something you fostered from the start turn into something tasty or beautiful.
5. Play tennis.
Tennis is more than just a fun game. It involves some serious working out — running sideways, backwards, forwards, you name it. Add in there the energy it takes to hammer a ball across the court, and you’re talking a burn of anywhere from 215 to 500 calories for an hour-long match.
6. Shoot some hoops.
Whether you’re able to move a lot or not, playing some outdoor basketball is a surefire way to let off some steam — and the calories that go with it. You can play a one-on-one game, doubles, heck a whole team match if possible. Or, if that’s a bit too much for you, consider a game of HORSE or other low-impact match.
7. Go rollerskating.
How long has it been since you laced up an old pair of rollerskates? Let out that inner child and try it out. It’s actually quite fun, plus you can burn anywhere from 500 to 800 calories an hour and get in a great workout for your thighs and glutes!
8. Take a swim.
There’s a reason it’s such a popular pastime in the summer (or a hot-weather state). Whether you’re a strong swimmer or not, splashing around in a pool is fun and a mindless way to burn a few extra calories.
9. Play some golf.
Stress relief. A place to hang out with friends. Oh, and exercise. All are accurate descriptions of the game of golf. Plus, if you give up the golf cart (and you really should), walking between all 18 holes can give you somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 to 15,000 steps!
What’s your favorite outdoor activity that also burns calories?
Share with us in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.