With summer around the corner, it’s easy to spend afternoons at the office daydreaming of the longer, warmer days and the endless rotation of activities that will soon be at our fingertips, weather finally permitting. After all, these upcoming months will be the ultimate time to rejuvenate our energy, reconnect with our priorities and awaken our bodies.
As we shift into a more active mindset, it’s important to remember that exercise is not meant to be a trying chore, but rather a way to get our bodies moving while getting ‘un-plugged’ from technology and social media, cultivating our best health and having fun outside. In fact, studies have found that just 15 minutes of exercise a week is enough to reduce mortality and increase life expectancy. With this in mind, here are some of our favorite outdoor exercise hacks to help get your blood and endorphins flowing this summer.
1. Must Love Dog (Parks)
We may not all love working out, but most of us love dogs. Not feeling the gym or a run? Walk over to the closest dog park with a friend and a canine companion. Pack a bag with water, some fresh fruit in case you get hungry, a few dog treats and most importantly, a ball or a frisbee. It won’t feel like a work out, but your body (and mind) will reap the rewards of some quality time outside in the sun, surrounded by man’s best friend.
2. Workout Buddy? There’s an App for That…
In need of a workout buddy? Check out an app like Whistle that matches you with workout buddies in your area, based on your location and preferences. Choose the time you want to get moving, the activity you prefer (walking, a run, an outdoor bootcamp class etc.) and get moving with a new friend.
3. Reward System
For every active choice you make (walking or biking instead of taking an Uber, going for a run or a swim, doing 10 push ups, visiting the park etc.) throw some spare change into a “Reward Jar”.
This could be $1 a time, or the amount you saved by not taking that Uber, but at the end of the month, add up your earnings and treat yourself to a new workout accessory or clothing item. Alliteratively, if you don’t have cash handy, toss in a note or popsicle stick with the desired amount written on it, and tally it up later.
4. Playgrounds Aren’t Just for Kids
Who needs a gym membership, when you’ve got a playground around the corner from your apartment? Take a stroll over to the closest park and try out a quick interval, body weight work out using the playground.
This could mean laps on the monkey bars, chin ups, split lunges off the swing or tricep dips off the bench… just get creative, listen to your body and have fun with it!
5. Mobile Meetings
Have a conference call or an evening meeting? Consider taking it on the road! Either throw in some headphones for a phone call, or see if your meeting companion is open to walking and talking.
6. Podcast Productivity
Feel like you don’t have time to read or study and work out? Download a podcast or audiobook to listen to while going for a walk, run or outdoor work out.
7. Always Be Prepared
Make a habit of storing a gym bag in your car stocked with a change of clothes, make-up remover wipes, a hair brush, deodorant and Murad’s MattEffect Blotting Perfector. This way, post workout plans will never be an excuse for a skip day.
8. Make It a Game
Challenge a friend to get active with you and set the stakes. For example, if you skip out on an outing, activity or fitness challenge etc. that you agreed to that week, you could be responsible for buying the first round of patio drinks or grilling up a summer’s eve dinner for you both, that weekend.
9. Weekend Warriors
Whether it’s a cottage, a beach weekend or camping, try to plan outdoor activities beyond the city occasionally. Treat yourself to some active, outdoor fun, un-plugged from the hustle of the city, with people you love.