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How I Make The Outdoors My Gym

I love a good spin or strength class, but nothing beats exercising in the open air. Outdoor workouts always seem to go by faster and something about being in nature just soothes my soul and helps me get my head right. I also find that if I make the outdoors my gym, it’s easier to squeeze in a workout because I can incorporate the dogs, do yard work, etc.

Of course, in the peak heat of summer, I always try to plan my workouts in the mornings or evenings when it’s somewhat cooler. And I’m always careful to slather on sunscreen and take plenty of water breaks. Here are my four favorite ways to break a sweat in the great outdoors.


There’s a lot of stuff I want—and need!—to do every day, so sometimes I have to do two things at once to get it all done. Hiking has become one of our go-to activities together. (The dogs act as a pull sled and make sure I am going at a fast pace) Growing up, The American Tobacco Trail was a go-to several times a week because it is covered with some sun but a beautiful trail. Though that doesn’t mean they were immune from complaining…they were not. It isn’t too steep and has some shade, park benches, bathrooms, and a mix of concrete and crushed gravel. Not sure where to start? Alltrails is an awesome resource that allows you to search for trails locally and filter by distance, difficulty, dog-and kid-friendliness, and more.


I grew up running and still continue to do so, and it’s still the most convenient way for me to get in a workout. Running is also my favorite way to clear my head and the best way to sightsee while on vacation. I have found that I am not necessarily a straight trail kind of person and prefer to go out and sight-see run, meaning around neighborhoods, cities, etc. Sightseeing via running is something I still do these days. It is part of the reason that I have really loved doing my Half Marathon Bucket List because I get to see new places and experience things for the first time. It’s so fun, and I love finding new restaurants and stores to go back to later in the day when I’m not sweaty. 


As a family and as kids, we grew up biking everywhere and going on family bike rides. I can still remember as kids going to the pool or traveling around the neighborhood to friend’s houses, biking was our mode of transportation. Biking makes fitting in a workout effortless because it just becomes part of your day. I love that.  


As someone who grew up playing a lot of different sports, I love everything about still getting out to bunt a volleyball, hit a tennis ball, or kick a soccer ball. Playing a pickup game in the front yard was a regular occurrence in my house growing up to the point that my dad spray painted a mock tennis court in the street so we could practice. Since I need to be efficient with my time, I love that I can torch some calories, do something I don’t normally do to workout, and reminisce on my childhood. Plus, we all get to enjoy time outside. It’s a win-win-win.

What about you? I’d love to hear about your go-to outdoor workouts.

As always, thank y’all for stopping by and reading. I will see y’all back here next time.

Love, Dani

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