Creative Ways to Workout Outdoors

By Kara Reynolds – September 28, 2021

Are you tired of lifting weights in your basement or staring at your living room wall while you’re on the treadmill? Maybe it’s time to refresh your workouts and get outside. Luckily, Austin is usually warm and sunny, so taking your routine outside should be a breeze. Plus, there are plenty of fun activities in and around the city that’ll get your heart pumping and inspire more creative exercises.

1. Climb or boulder

If you like to mix adrenaline and adventure into your workouts, look no further than rock climbing. This exhilarating outdoor workout will help you break a sweat, even when you’re moving slowly. That’s because bouldering and climbing are high-intensity, low-impact activities that require whole-body effort. 

Photo by yns plt on Unsplash

Start by honing your skills at one of Austin’s many indoor facilities. Then, hit the trails and enjoy outdoor climbing experiences at Seismic, Gus Fruh, New Wall or another one of the city’s many natural bouldering destinations. Most charge a $5 entrance fee and fill up quickly on the weekends, so reserve a pass in advance and don’t forget to bring your carabiners!

2. Visit a waterpark 

Hot days in the Texas sun call for a cool dip in the pool. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a pool in their backyard. In this case, you’ll have to hit up a public pool or, better yet, a waterpark. These parks offer fun for both kids and adults. Plus, they provide plenty of opportunities to fit in an outdoor workout. 

Just consider all the stairs you have to climb to make it to the top of a waterslide. Most people burn five to 10 calories per flight and, while that might not sound like much, they’ll certainly add up over the course of a few hours. Make good use of the pool, diving board and wet n’ wild obstacle course for a full-body workout.

3. Find a swimming hole 

If you’d rather skip the crowds and long lines, a local swimming hole might offer a more secluded experience. Luckily, Austin is home to a handful of impressive spring-fed streams and natural pools like Deep Eddy and Barton Springs. 

While swimming is the most obvious way to get in a workout at these spots, you might also hike, bike or rock climb at many of them. In fact, you can even pack a bag and hike to more remote swimming holes within the Greenbelt, which will only improve your endurance and boost your fitness level. 

4. Play on the playground

Getting kids to engage in outdoor activities is so important that some pediatricians are actually prescribing time outside for some patients. As it turns out, many adults could use a dose of that same medicine. So, if you’ve been feeling a little under the weather, head to your nearest playground for some fresh air and vitamin D. 

Get your blood pumping by climbing the jungle gym, swinging on the monkey bars and pumping yourself higher and higher on the swings. You can also get creative and use the playground equipment to complete a bodyweight exercise routine. Use the double bars for dips and elevated bar push-ups. Pull-ups, arm walks and monkey bar down and backs are excellent exercises, too. 

5. Hop on an e-bike

Biking is a blast, but have you ever tried riding an electric bike? One of these bad boys will take you much further than a traditional bike allowing you to explore more of Austin in less time. Because they feature electric motors, they’re also easy, fun and convenient to ride. Plus, they’ll give you the all-important cardiovascular exercise you need to stay healthy. 

But wouldn’t a regular bike give you a better workout on an hour-per-hour basis? Well, yes. However, riding an e-bike only burns 20% fewer calories and allows you to ride longer and more often, which can help you burn more calories overall. So what are you waiting for? Hop on an e-bike and explore one of Austin’s bike trails today!

6. Join a club sport

Sometimes, it’s difficult — if not impossible — to find the motivation to work out alone. In this case, joining a club sport might be the best thing you can do for your health. Join a baseball, sand volleyball, soccer or ultimate frisbee team and enjoy the great outdoors with friends. 

Photo by Jannes Glas on Unsplash

Since many teams meet weekly or biweekly, you’ll likely get a good dose of fresh air and physical activity on a regular basis. Plus, if you meet a bunch of cool people, you’ll likely hang out more often, which could provide more opportunities to work out together and hold each other accountable.

Staying in shape outdoors

The best way to create a solid outdoor workout routine is to engage in activities you actually enjoy. In some cases, that might entail taking your favorite indoor exercises outside. Roll out your yoga mat in the backyard. Go slacklining in the park. Meet your friends for a wilderness jog. Get creative and don’t hesitate to try something new because you never know when you’ll fall in love with another outdoor activity that helps you stay in shape. 


About the Author

Kara Reynolds is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Momish Magazine, an inclusive parenting magazine filled with parenting hacks, advice and more to keep your beautiful family thriving.


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