You Can Skip the Gym and Head Outdoors, If You Do These Activities

Put your gym membership on hold and instead take your fitness outside. Not only can you enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but studies show that being in nature can give you more energy, lower stress levels, and it can even cause you to workout harder. These activites make it OK to skip the gym...


Hit the trails! Go trek up a mountain or just traverse across some off-the-beaten-paths. Not only is it fun to explore new places, but you can also scorch mega calories—a 160 pound person can burn up to 438 calories in one hour. You can use resources like to find local paths near you or where you’re headed.


When it comes to biking, if you learned when you were younger, it’s something you never forget. And whether you’ve kept up with it and are an avid biker now or you’re just getting back into it, there’s an overwhelming sense of accomplishment you feel knowing that your own legs helped get you from point A to point B.

Road or Trail Running

Ditch the treadmill and instead pound the pavement or trails. You’ll be surprised how much the sunshine adds to your endorphin rush. Plus, fresh air and the views can help distract you and you might even end up running further than you planned. Research shows that trading the treadmill TV for being in nature can help increase your attention span.

Stand Up Paddleboaring (SUP)

Not only is it fun to paddleboard, it’s also a serious core workout if you’re giving it your all. It’s extremely beginner friendly, too, so you don’t need to have prior experience in order to do it. And even if you’re not the best and you fall off, you’re plunging into a big body of water so you won’t have to worry about getting hurt.


If you love workout classes, you’re bound to love them just as much while taking in some fresh air. Lots of studios and fitness instructors host outdoor classes in the summer months. Ask your local gym if they know of any or do some research online to see what’s offered near you.

Social Sport

Love working out with a buddy? Well, you’d probably enjoy a team aspect, too. From volleyball, to kickball, to soccer, dodge ball, and more, the social sport options are endless. Chances are you’ll have so much fun, you’ll fail to realize you’re actually burning calories. Use a site like Zog Sports to find out what’s offered by you.

Go ahead, skip the gym so you can head outdoors!

Amy Schlinger

Amy Schlinger is a writer, editor, and digital strategist living in New York City. Her stories have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Self, Shape, Health, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness HERS, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Pilates Style, Redbook, and Max Sports & Fitness. She is an avid CrossFitter with a serious love for mashed potatoes.

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