8 Places to work out outside of the gym
While there is nothing wrong with working out in a gym, if you limit yourself to gym-based training, you are missing out on a world of enjoyable places to exercise. Gyms can be loud, crowded, and force you to work out in a very specific, even regimented way. Membership is also often expensive.
In contrast, non-gym workouts mean you won’t have to wait in line to use your next exercise machine. You’ll also be able to enjoy the lungs full of clean, fresh air instead of breathing recycled, conditioned air that is often a source of allergies and infections. Your workouts won’t be restricted by the equipment available, and you won’t have to listen to whatever euro pop music the duty gym instructor has playing at full blast! Sounds good, right?
Not sure where to go for your gym-free workout? Here are eight great ideas!
1. The playground
Your local playground is a great place to work out, but you don’t have to limit yourself to running around it. Play equipment is all-but tailor-made for exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, and other calisthenic staples.
Many have shock-absorbing floors which are not only good for stopping kids from hurting themselves when they fall, they also provide the ideal surface for high-impact jumping exercises called plyometrics. Take a few resistance bands or even a suspension trainer for extra exercise variety.
2. The beach
If you don’t mind sand in your workout shoes, beaches are a very enjoyable place to exercise. Shifting sand makes virtually every exercise you do doubly demanding and will also challenge your balance and stability. Running up sand dunes is one of the most demanding cardio workouts you can do and will make you forget all about boring treadmill intervals.
For strength training, take a large bucket, sack, and shovel to the beach. Fill and lift the bucket and sack to challenge your muscles in a way that even freeweights cannot match.
3. A sports pitch
The lines on a sports pitch are perfect for a range of workouts. Use them to create a circuit of calisthenic exercises or as targets for sprint intervals. The large, flat space is perfect for things like tumbling and other agility exercises. If your sports pitch also has bleachers, you can run or jump up them for a great fat burning cardio workout.
4. The forest
Running along forest trails makes the miles fly by. You’ll be so busy focusing on ducking branches and jumping logs that you’ll forget all about the ache in your legs and your heaving lungs. You’ll also find things like logs and rocks for lifting, and overhead branches that are ideal for pull-ups. A lot of people are fans of the Paleo or caveman diet but exercising out in the forest is the perfect paleo workout.
5. Your yard
You don’t have to go far to work out. In fact, your yard could be the perfect non-gym exercise venue. For starters, it’s always open and free to use. You can also stock it with a range of exercise equipment to enhance your workouts. Good yard training exercise tools include:
Tire and sledgehammer – hit the tire with your hammer for a fun, effective cardio workout
Medicine balls – lift or throw them to work virtually every muscle in your body
Jump rope – the best no-frills cardio workout around
Suspension trainer or gymnastic rings – hang from a tree to add a whole new dimension to bodyweight exercises
Kettlebells – non-adjustable weights you can use to develop strength, endurance, and fitness. With just a couple of kettlebells, you can train your entire body with dozens of different exercises
Rocks, logs, water jugs, and sandbags – anything heavy can be used to build strength
6. Your garage
If inclement weather makes working out outdoors less than appealing, take your training indoors. Park your car on the road and get busy training in your garage instead. All of the items outlined above are ideal for garage-based training.
7. Your living room
Lack of space does not have to mean you can’t work out. In fact, you only need a couple of square yards to work your muscles and your cardiovascular system all at the same time. Not convinced? Try this burpee-based workout which is, apparently, popular with prison inmates whose cells are probably much smaller than your living room!
20 burpees (rest a few seconds)
19 burpees (rest a few seconds)
18 burpees (rest a few seconds)
17 burpees (rest a few seconds)
16 burpees (rest a few seconds)
15 burpees (rest a few seconds)
14 burpees (rest a few seconds)
13 burpees (rest a few seconds)
12 burpees (rest a few seconds)
11 burpees (rest a few seconds)
10 burpees (rest a few seconds)
9 burpees (rest a few seconds)
8 burpees (rest a few seconds)
7 burpees (rest a few seconds)
6 burpees (rest a few seconds)
5 burpees (rest a few seconds)
4 burpees (rest a few seconds)
3 burpees (rest a few seconds)
2 burpees (rest a few seconds)
1 burpee (rest a few seconds)
8. An empty carpark
Like a sports pitch, an empty carpark is a great place to work out because of the abundance of space and the handy markings that you can use for interval and circuit training. Load up your car with a few training equipment essentials for workout variety or push and pull your car for the ultimate strongman workout. Make sure you have a training partner to steer and operate the breaks though!
You don’t have to work out in a gym to be fit, strong, or lose weight. You’ll need to be a little more creative than you would in the gym but, in return, your workouts fresh, fun, rewarding, and much more interesting.