If gym memberships seem to be more of a monthly donation than an investment for you, we’ve pulled together a few nontraditional ways to creatively sneak in a sweat this summer. So instead of watching the clock to make sure you’re showing up on time to a class, get your workout in ways you wouldn’t typically think of.
Roll out your yoga mat
Start your day with some salutations. We’re talking in the back yard, porch, or inside behind the blinds. The free YouTube Channel Yoga with Adriene is the perfect way to follow along at any level. And with an amazing 30-day yoga intro session to get you started without any time constraints or membership fees, let alone that person behind you judging your downward dog, you can’t go wrong.
Intervals at the track
Lebo’s high school (or Jefferson’s middle school) tracks are not just here for school-aged athletes, they are an underutilized community resource! Make it your goal to run to the most convenient track, walk a lap, run a lap, then repeat while increasing your intervals each week. Then, take the time to appreciate your commitment and cool down with a peaceful (and likely sweaty) walk home.
Meditation seems to be all the rage lately. Minus the rage. While it’s not as physically challenging, the mental wellness and strength you gain by starting your day off mindfully has the ability to change how you feel about yourself and your surroundings. Even by taking just 5 minutes a day to dedicate to yourself, you can posture a positive outlook. The Simple Habit app is a great—and free—resource you can use at work, at home or on the go.
Use your wheels
Need to run an errand up the street or get a quick outdoor workout in? Take advantage of Mt. Lebanon’s many neighborhoods where you can safely bike in the streets. Or, venture to Bird Park for a little green circle “mountain biking” where you can work up a quick sweat but be back home in no time.
The hills are alive
You’ve heard of urban hiking, Mt. Lebanon is the perfect place to take advantage of a great hill workout if you don’t love the mud, creatures, or remoteness of traditional trail hiking. The best part, you can start from your front door. Make it a goal to get lost, find a new road and neighborhood, or do as many hills as possible in one loop. Sure your quads will be cursing you the next day, but it will be worth it.
Change the way you commute
Do you usually drive to work? Could you walk part of the drive? Could you bike it? Or could you take the stairs once you get to work? Get out from behind your zombie routine, look at your typical day, and see how you can make it more active. It may take a fitbit or apple watch to inspire you with goals, but hey, that works too.
Parks are for adults too
Know that neighborhood park that you’ve probably never played on? Well, now’s your chance. Kids aren’t the only ones who can utilize the monkey bars. Challenge yourself to a pull-up competition, do burpees while your kids run circles around you, or stretch your legs on the platforms. And the next time you come back, see if you can do more.
Find a buddy
Crossfit Mt. Lebanon, Mecka Fitness, Fleet Feet Running Club, Pure Barre, and our own recreation department’s programs are just the first few hotspots that come to mind when we think of all the great resources Mt. Lebanon has to offer in terms of group workouts. That said; if dragging yourself to the gym fails; put your kids, significant other, neighbor, pet, or cell phone with a trusty podcast to work. Set a time and loop and walk it, bike it, skip it, run it or sprint it the same day each week. Routine works out, even when we don’t want to!
Count your laps
It’s humid…. unbearably hot…. and your hair is in its own time zone. Your kids are begging to go to the pool. Take them. But this time, don’t just drop them off, or sit and read as they enjoy the cool dip. Join them, or separately ring in a few laps in Mt. Lebanon swim center’s 50-meter lap lanes. Watch out two birds, here comes that stone.
Gardening in the heat of summer can be a productive way to sneak in your workout. The trick? Be mindful of your weed-pulling positioning. Don’t just bend down and pull, intentionally stretch longer than you normally would, throw in some squats, or fill up that watering can to the top and trek it back and forth across your yard. Be creative, you don’t need to track your heart rate, but the more aware you are of stretching and lunging, the more you can challenge yourself to a nontraditional workout.
That’s all for summer, but don’t worry, this winter we will have another edition of indoor and outdoor activities you can sneak in that will keep you moving even through the cold.