Staying fit doesn’t require a gym membership or getting hot and sweaty in a room with a load of other strangers, no matter what your gym wants you to think. There are ways to keep your body in tip-top condition without spending hours on a machine that looks better placed to execute somebody than tone their buttocks. Whatever your physical capabilities or preferences, there is an exercise that will work for you. And you might even enjoy yourself as you go.
The National Parks in America are second to none, whatever state you are in you will likely find somewhere to go to hike. Although it might not seem like real exercise, hiking can be incredibly strenuous and also very rewarding. Hiking is incredibly popular, and there are many common hiking trails that you can follow without needing a guide. Do a bit of research and see what is on offer in your state.
Canyons are a distinctive part of the physical geography of the USA, and associated with them are many different sporting activities. Unless you’re lucky enough to live next door to somewhere like Bryce Canyon, which can be found over at the official Bryce Canyon page, canyoneering is something to be done as part of an adventure weekend. The skills and techniques involved in canyoneering, however, such as rope climbing, abseiling, kayaking and caving, can most likely be practised in your local area. You may have a local outdoor bouldering wall, or you might have to visit an indoor climbing wall to get your practice in. At least by learning something like climbing, you can take your pastime outside at weekends and on vacation.
An obvious one, but running is something that can be done anywhere at any time provided you have the right footwear. Are you one of those people that feels fine running on a treadmill but can’t run to save your life outdoors? Read-up about the pros and cons of taking to the great outdoors. You might find a daily dose of fresh air far better once you have adjusted to running on the ground. Be sure to research any aches and pains you experience and invest in a good pair of running shoes. There is no point in exercising if you are doing yourself damage.
A great way to inject some fitness into your daily routine is to switch from car or bus to bicycle. It will save you money in the long run, and provide you with an opportunity to get good cardiovascular exercise away from the gym. If you live too far away to commute by bike, consider cycling half way and catching a train or picking up a car share.
With a healthy dose of confidence, the park can become your gym. By making use of the physical features of parks like benches, lampposts and play equipment, you can get a thorough workout for free. Do it right, and you might even attract some new workout friends. Perhaps try inviting other members of your family or your neighbors. Great for the community spirit, not so great for your local gym.