While the air-conditioned gym might start to look more and more appealing as the temperature rises, nothing beats an outdoor workout. Swimming, hiking, or canoeing are all great gym replacements if you’re lucky enough to squeeze in a cottage getaway, but what about if you’re stuck here in the city for the summer?
Not to worry. There are a number of outdoor options (some of them free!) to replace your regular indoor routine right in your neighborhood. So next time you’re thinking of heading to the gym, take advantage of the warm weather and consider these exercise alternatives instead.
Yoga Classes in the Park
Throw the yoga mat in a bag and head down to the park. While some yoga studios hold regular classes outside in the summer that require registration, you can also find a number of free classes around the city. Riverdale Park, for example, holds free yoga on Saturday mornings. Check your local listings.
Join a beach volleyball league. There are lots of locations in the city, as well as a number of tournaments that take place throughout the summer season. Often teams welcome all skill levels, so those of us who haven’t touched a volleyball since high school gym class need not be discouraged.
Outdoor Zumba Classes
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness trend that has become a women’s exercise favourite over the past few years. Look for summer Zumba classes in public parks. Outdoor classes offer the same great cardio and muscle toning benefits, with the added bonus of fresh air and Vitamin D.
Try replacing your regular form of transportation with cycling at least twice a week. Biking is an awesome cardio workout (and let’s not forget environmentally friendly). And while maybe traveling to work on your bike isn’t always ideal, it’s a great weekend alternative. For more information about bike lanes and routes through the city, check out the cycling map on the City of Toronto website.
Outdoor Boot Camps
I know. For the average exerciser, the words boot camp might sound a little terrifying. But ladies-only boot camps (such as Fit Chicks or Booty Camp Fitness) are one of the hottest exercise trends right now. With high-intensity outdoor programs designed just for women, they’re a great way to take your fitness routine to the next level. Do your body a favor this summer and register for one of their training camps. Chances are that you’ll be glad you did.