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Best Outdoor Exercises for Non-Runners



When it’s this beautiful outside, I really can’t bring myself to go to the Plex three times a week.  As familiar as my trusty stationary-bike is, it just doesn’t feel right to use up my free time indoors in a smelly gym.  It’s time to exercise outside.

One problem—I don’t do the whole running thing.  Although I have total respect for joggers everywhere, it’s definitely not for everyone.  I personally find running super boring and I actually look pretty funny doing it, as my family often reminds me.

If you don’t feel like running, and are itching to spend more time exercising outdoors, then this list is for you!  Here are five ways to get your heart rate up and a healthy glow at the same time.


1.) Walking

We’ll start with the most obvious: walking.  Why is it awesome?  It’s not super tiring, you can talk while your doing it (no more of those wheezing conversations with my running partner, who is usually not wheezing… ok actually it’s just me), and it’s cheap.  All you need are running shoes.  Oh, and did I mention that walking at a brisk pace can burn as many calories as jogging?  Here are my favorite walking ideas:

  • Walk to Newton Center for breakfast on a weekend—it’s not that far, and once you get there you’ve had a workout and you get a treat!
  • I know it sounds crazy, but it’s only 2.15 miles from Vandy to Starbucks in Cleveland Circle. Take a friend and it’s soo not the worst exercise you could be getting. Plus, if you get too tired to walk back, there’s a bus.
  • Add ankle-weights and walk around the res. Adding some more resistance will take your workout to a new level. Plus, it’s beautiful down there.

Think of this way.  That time you walk-of-shamed from the Mods to Upper?  It was just a workout, duh.


2.) Cycling

There are so many bikes chained outside all of the dorms, so how come we never see people riding them?  Despite our stair-filled campus, there are actually a lot of awesome cycling routes around BC.  Borrow a friend’s or ride your own—you might find that riding your bike is a form of exercise that you love.  For those of you who might not know where to go, take a buddy and try out www.mapmyride.com.  I use it a lot—super helpful.  As a member of the BC Cycling team (peep the vain photo below, socks and sandals), I’m totally a proponent of cycling as the awesomest form of exercise.  Gives you breathtaking calves for those heels.  Just remember your helmet and water bottle!  Also, make sure you know the rules of the road.


3.) Sunrise Yoga

*Disclaimer*- not referring to the Plex’s program, I just made this name up

Totally not ashamed to say that I’ve done it ‘cause it’s completely awesome.  In the summer or when I have late classes in the fall/spring, sometimes I’ll look up the time of the sunrise, get up 45 min before, find a pretty spot outside (usually private because I fall occasionally), and bring out my mat to do my favorite yoga/ab workout while the sun comes up.  I know it sounds crazy but I’ll bring some coffee with me and it’s super relaxing meditation workout time.  It really gives me a chance to mull the week over.  Best part?  I can go back, sleep in, and get up later with my workout already done for the day.  Trust me and try it.  The photo below is totally me…


4.) Hiking

Maybe you can’t do this too much around campus, but definitely a great weekend workout (or date)!!  Depending on the difficulty of the trail, hiking can range anywhere from an easy-and-breezy adventure to a blood-pumping workout.  You’re in New England—take advantage of it.  Check online for beautiful trails and mountains to distract you from your muscle growth.  Boston.com’s “15 Great Hikes” has some ideas to get you started.  There are also some sweet hiking programs through the Plex!


5.) 30 Minute Outdoor Workout

I found this workout online a little while ago and it’s super hard.  However, it’s really fun to do in a group because it involves finding mechanisms like benches and curbs to use as part of your workout.  So get your suite-mates/hall-mates together and go on a workout scavenger hunt (or do it by yourself and look awesome)—just make sure everything you use is sturdy!  Ten points for anyone who makes a YouTube video out of this.


Other Ideas:

  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddling
  • White water rafting
  • Golfing
  • Roller-blading


Photo Credits:

1.     http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/817615/How-to-start-a-walking-fitness-program

2.     Me

3.     http://mtobikes.com/girls-seven-reasons-you-should-start-mountain-biking/

4.     http://ravisurdhar.deviantart.com/art/Sunrise-Yoga-173029233

5.     http://www.destination360.com/north-america/us/vermont/vermont-hiking

6.     http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/lose-weight/total-body/outdoor-workouts-30-minutes/?page=4


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