I am someone who loves going to the gym because it has all of the equipment that I need to do the workout that I planned. I also tend to stay in doors more than I should, forgetting to go outside unless someone pulls me out or I’m headed to work. But now that most people are working from home and all the gyms are closed during this pandemic, I’m having to learn to be creative when it comes to working out.
It has been a big help to use workout time to force myself to get outside for some fresh air. To keep that mojo going, I came up with this list of other outdoor exercise options to challenge myself.
The government mandate wants us to stay at home as much as possible and keep our social distance when we go out, but that doesn’t exclude hiking, running, and biking. You can utilize that permission and ride your bike around town or find a trail to hike. If you don’t want to do it by yourself, bring a friend or family member to follow six feet behind you. And if you don’t like to travel far and your idea of long-distance cardio is 10 minutes on the treadmill like me (I’m more of a sprinter), you can run around your house or apartment building in one-lap intervals (e.g. sprint one lap, break, sprint one lap, break, etc.).
One of the main reasons I work out is because I want to be mobile, agile, and energized as an athlete. I also have a short attention span, so I like quick movements and constant changes. Thankfully agility training caters to that with exercises like ladder workouts and even double dutch (taking it back to childhood!) that you can do right in your backyard or parking lot.
Speaking of athletes, why not become one by getting outside and shooting some hoops? Though basketball is not great for social distancing, it is a sport you can play by yourself by practicing your dribbling and shots. You can do the same with soccer, but if you would rather work out with a partner, playing catch can be your go-to. My family and I used to play catch whenever it was nice out, and we loved it because we could play wherever we wanted: in our backyard, at a park, or on the sidewalk.
Opportune time to get that yard work done
I grew up in a household where my dad did all of the yard work and my mom did all of the cooking. They didn’t decide this because of traditional gender roles, necessarily (my mom’s dad was a chef). My mom simply didn’t like to do yard work (and takes after her dad in the kitchen) and my father didn’t like to cook. Can you take a guess at which one I prefer? (Hint: It’s definitely not yard work.) Because of that, I might be skipping out on this exercise, but for those who need to get yard work done and want to get a workout in for the day, cleaning out the gutters, mowing the grass, and tending to your garden does a surprising number on your muscles. And the amount of sweat you generate from the exertion has the potential to surpass what you’d do in a typical fitness class (if my dad is any indication).
Social distancing does not mean you can’t go exercise outside. Some exercises may be more challenging than others, but you don’t have to let small obstacles get in the way of your fresh air. These outdoor exercises can keep you active and healthy and prevent you from becoming a recluse — or just going insane (mostly speaking to myself).