6 Dynamic Outdoor Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Exercise

Outdoor exercise

Not everyone has the time or inclination to make it to the gym on a regular basis. And let’s be honest—sometimes the simple act of breaking a routine can be inspiring enough to create new habits. Here are six of my favorite ways to work up a sweat outside.

Swimming is an amazing, full-body exercise. It’s all good for all ages, is easy on your joints, and even if you’re not particularly good at it (like me), that just means you burn more calories while paddling your way across the pool. It’s definitely a win-win.

Hiking is great because it can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be. If you’re a beginning hiker, just put on some good ol’ walking shoes and make your way to the closest trail to try it out. Bring a friend and a picnic to make it a social day, or take the whole family out with you. Plus, with all that walking, you can burn a ton of calories and get your Fitbit steps in. AllTrails is a great starting point to find the best hiking trails near you.

Ditch the golf cart to get your steps in on the links; playing 18 holes can help you log close to 14,000 steps! Golfing can also be a relaxing way to get outside and relieve some of the weekday stresses, as long as you don’t get too frustrated trying to lower your handicap.

Own a Fitbit Ionic? Download GAME GOLF GPS Rangefinder, an app that works on more than 36,000 courses worldwide, to maximize your time on the links. Just confirm your location—the app will show you up to three options in order of proximity—and start a round. GAME GOLF will automatically pull up your current hole, where you can see distances to the middle, front, and back of the green; get the exact distance to any hazard or landing zone; and see the layout of the hole or green as you approach it. At the end of your round, GAME GOLF also serves up a health-stats-and-activity summary, which includes information like holes played, score, average heart rate, and steps.

GAME GOLF app for Fitbit Ionic

An active game of tennis can get you taking all kinds of steps—running around, moving backwards, and lateral side-to-side movement. And tennis can be so fun you won’t even realize you’re exhausted until the set or match is over. Don’t have a tennis partner? No worries. Just find a wall and practice your forehand and backhand, moving enough to keep you working.

This might be nostalgic for you but believe it or not, rollerblading or rollerskating is a great workout for your thighs and glutes! Plus, you can burn up to 800 calories an hour while you’re at it. Strap on the helmet and knee-pads and make it a family thing.

Trust me: gardening can be great exercise and a pleasant and easy way to enjoy the outdoors. You can grow your own pesticide-free food while you’re at it! If you don’t have a yard, try a community garden. You’ll get the added bonus of essential vitamin D out in the sunlight—just make sure to have your sunblock ready.

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