Make Your Workout More Fun: Skip the Gym!

By Paula Detwiller

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Gym workouts are great when you’ve got a tight schedule. But hey—we live in a place where you can exercise outdoors year-round. So why not mix it up and incorporate fresh air, sunshine and the beauty of nature into your workout? Here’s how.

 

  • Take a swim. Whether in the ocean or in a pool, swimming is good exercise for body and soul. You can do it casually or competitively; in a group or by yourself. And since swimming is a low impact but high intensity exercise, it tends to be a good choice for people with joint problems, weight limitations, and those recovering from injuries.
  • Paddle. Renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard is an excellent way to use upper-body muscle groups you may not use in the gym. You’ll also see things you can’t see from the beach—such as fish swimming beneath you or shorebirds paddling nearby. Ideally, a nice ocean breeze will make it feel like you’re not even sweating! In Delray, rent what you need at Delray Beach Water Sports Rentals, just north of the Seagate Hotel’s beach club (South Ocean Boulevard and Casuarina Road).

  • Walk a nature trail. If you’ve never walked the mile-long path at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, you are in for a treat. Six distinct gardens line the path, representing garden designs from six different periods of Japanese history. It’s meditative and inspiring, and you can use your smart phone for a mobile-guided tour!

  • Bike or skate around town. Riding a bicycle in the great outdoors is far more invigorating than a stationary bike at the gym. In-line skating can make you feel free! Both forms of self-propelled exercise burn calories and tone up legs. Be sure to wear a helmet for safety (and elbow and knee pads for skating).

  • Design your own bootcamp. Find the nearest playground—like the one at Old School Square Park, home of the GreenMarket during the season—and invent your own exercise regime using the play equipment: leg lifts, arm dips, squats, etc.  Enlist your kids to take turns playing Drill Sergeant. Or invite friends/family members to run through the drills with you, and see who can finish first. The more competitive you make it, the more fun!

 

Tell us…what’s your favorite way to get moving outside of the gym? Leave your ideas in the comments!

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