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Working Out Without the Gym

Are you sick of sweaty cardio machines and body building show-offs? Summer can be a great time to get in shape and tone up for a new school year, but a gym membership isn’t meant for everyone. It may be too costly, inconvenient or just plain unpleasant. Fortunately, summer can also be a great time to take advantage of nice weather and outdoor activities. Try these easy, outdoor alternatives to exercise this summer that will have you burning calories without hitting the gym.

1.    Suit up for a long nature hike. Pack a few trail-friendly snacks, a picnic lunch, plenty of water and a few friends and hit the trails! Hiking can be a great way to clear your head, tone your calves, and explore what your city has to offer. To find trails near you, visit trails.com. The website also features travel tips, information about appropriate hiking gear, and trail guides.

2.    Take advantage of a day at the lake. Instead of just sunbathing on your cottage deck, get your hair wet while trying a few fun water sports. Tubing, skiing, knee-boarding and wakeboarding are all great ways to stay active- you may even catch the attention of that cute boy across the lake. Other great ways to stay fit include swimming or a game of beach volleyball.

3.    Yoga can be great for relaxation, except when you are stuck in a crowded room full of sweaty gym rats. Try a few yoga poses on your own (learn them yourself by visiting yogabasics.com) in the shaded comfort of your own backyard.

4.    Do your younger siblings have trampolines, jump ropes, hula-hoops or pogo sticks lying around? These childhood toys can be a fun way to get you heart rate up. Challenge your siblings or neighbors to a contest and get in touch with your inner child.

5.    Offer to help out with household chores. Mowing the lawn, tending to the garden, painting the shutters, or cleaning the windows are all great ways to keep you outside, active, and on your parents’ good side at the same time.

Working out doesn’t have to be boring or monotonous! Change up your workout routine by swapping the treadmill for half an hour on the trampoline. Work a few new muscles, have fun, and enjoy your summer vacation while getting ready to strut through campus in the fall. Your body will thank you for the endorphins and positive energy!

By Meaghan O’Connor | Photo Credit: serpholicmedia.com

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