Lifting weights, burning calories, endorphins pumping. Monthly fees, stuffy rooms, people on the machine next to you, unsure if the previous user disinfected the equipment after they finished. What are we talking about? – gyms and they reopened this week across our region. If you’re not quite comfortable hitting the gym again yet, there’s another way to get healthy and stay active. Consider your parks!
Parks are a great way to get outside, get active and see results without going to the gym. What’s even better is that you may even save money and get some added mental benefits. Here’s our top 6 reasons to choose working out OUTSIDE:
- Saves you money – a lot of your local parks are free to access, but if you’re looking for even more options, your Huron-Clinton Metroparks have the solution. There are 13 unique parks across five counties with thousands of acres of opportunities to explore. For just $40 you can get an annual pass and access all 13 parks all calendar year. That’s about the same as a single month at most gyms.
- Take the mundane out of your routine – Instead of doing the same circuit of reps on equipment, you can plan your week’s routine around biking for your legs, paddling for your arms, stretches and breathing in the grass for your core and then yoga by the lake to cool down – or whatever mix of activities you prefer. You can even consider adding golf, swimming or trail running to your schedule to switch it up.
- Challenging terrain – whether you’re hiking, biking, running, walking or roller-blading, parks – like your Metroparks – provide miles of trails with a variety of trail surfaces and changing elevations. From easy, smooth and relatively flat to steep inclines and challenging turns, your workouts can be as easy or as difficult as you choose.
- Outdoor equipment adds variety – Some parks even have fitness trails with outdoor equipment stations along the way. These stations encourage you to do pull ups and a variety of other exercises in between stints of running, biking or walking. Keep your muscles guessing and growing.
- The outdoors is socially distant – no mask required – Because parks have so much space to spread out, it’s easy to practice social distancing; and being outdoors means you don’t have to wear a mask unless you’re going into a bathroom building or crowded area.
- It’s great for mental health too – Plenty of studies show there are positive mental health benefits to being outdoors. No matter what activity you choose to do, you almost certainly can’t beat the sights and sounds of trees swaying, birds singing and the sun on your face. It’s sure to ease your mind more than a closed off weight room with no windows.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to waiting in line at the gym, consider taking your workout outside in the parks and exploring what’s waiting for you at the Metroparks!