6 Gym-Free Outdoor Exercises for Urban Spaces

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78023542Just because you’re apartment-bound or don’t have too much indoor space to spare doesn’t mean that the gym is your only exercise outlet.

As a matter of fact, you can exercise anytime, anywhere. The health benefits of a push-up are the same in your house as they would be in the gym – and, in fact, they may be even more beneficial if you do it outside.

If you can, try converting your basement or garage into a mini workout room. Or, if you are a city dweller and don’t quite have the spare space for exercise, try out these 6 tips for turning the outdoor urban jungle into your very own gym.

Reap the Health Benefits of these 6 Urban Outdoor Exercises:

1. Run wild. The health benefits of running or jogging are endless; but running the same route at the same pace can be boring and ineffective. That’s why you should try running wild. As you run through the park, around the trail, or across the city, you can even look for any object you can jump on or over. Curbs, retaining walls, rocks and turnstiles are all perfect examples of obstacles that will spice up your run, while adding jumps and leaps will significantly jack up the number of calories you will burn.

2. Step it up. Whenever you’re on a run and come across a bench, stop to perform step-ups. Perform step-ups like this: right foot up, left foot up, right food down, left foot down, etc., as fast as you can. If the step ups are too easy, try jumping up with both feet simultaneously to the bench top. If the bench is too rickety to support you (or people are actually sitting on it), then don’t fret; perform 20 body weight squats instead before continuing your run. Keep your eyes peeled for another golden-opportunity bench or set of outdoor steps during the rest of your run.

3. Sell your car. 
Alright, that might be a little unpractical. But instead of driving everywhere, try biking or walking instead. Turn your commute to work into a workout and reap the health benefits. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense, and exercising doesn’t have to just be about losing weight. Some of the healthiest and longest living populations don’t exercise at all; they simply build more activity into their day-to-day lives. Just move more, more often, at a moderate pace.

4. Hang out. Cities are full of ledges, overhangs, and horizontal bars. These are perfect for hanging from – especially if you’re doing pull-ups, chin-ups, or a little core work by bringing your knees to your chest.

5. Urban stair-climber. Have you ever used the stair climber at the gym? Believe it or not, those exist outside the walls of your local fitness center. Cities are packed with stairs waiting to be scaled. Better yet, sprint up them. Big office buildings tend to boast a substantial set of stairs, or you can try going to a local sports stadium and running the bleachers. This type of high intensity workout burns more calories in less time than longer, slower runs.

6. Go for a hike in the concrete jungle. So there are no mountains or pristine wilderness in the heart of the city. But that doesn’t have to stop you from loading up your backpack with water, snacks, and a camera before setting out on a day of exploration. Take in a museum, the library, farmer’s market, and outdoor festival on foot. Plan ahead so that you can continue on foot for as long as possible, then get a ride home or hop on public transit.

When it comes to exercise, there’s no wrong way to get moving. Don’t let the gym or lack of equipment hold you back. Head outside or set out into the city to break a sweat. Be creative and have fun; that’s the best advice for creating an exercise habit that you can stick to.

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