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Nature Offers A Free Gym Membership: Enjoy It!

By Sarah Miller

When warm weather rolls around, it's the perfect time to get creative with different outdoor fitness routines. Yes, going to the gym is a great way to stay fit, but gyms can be pricey. The outdoors, on the other hand, are free! Making nature your gym will breathe new life into your workouts and your heart health. Stimulate your muscles and your senses by trying these outdoor workouts. 


Yoga: 

You don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a yoga class in a stuffy studio when you can find your zen under the shade of a giant oak tree. Yoga is a practice of physical postures including stretching and position holds- and it's really good for you. All you need is a mat or a beach towel. In addition to the physical benefits, there’s a mental and spiritual element to yoga that can help you de-stress. Yoga will help you find balance in both your body and your mind through the focus on proper breathing and the wide variety of poses. For modifications, you can try chair yoga. If you’re not sure how to get started, there are plenty of free mobile apps that can guide you through the routines. Namaste!   


Swimming: 

Dive into heart health with swimming and water aerobics! Swimming is one of the best things you can do for your body. In the water, all of your muscles are engaged to push against the resistance of the water, but the best part is, there is no harsh impact on your joints. Swimming trains your heart and lungs to use oxygen more efficiently. Public pools are a great place to get started if you’re not a member of a swim club. For extra safety, use a pool noodle or a kickboard when in the water to keep you afloat. Swimming is an activity for all ages so, pull on that suit, slap on a pair of goggles, and start making waves in your fitness journey.


Walking and Hiking: 

Walking is a very simple, but great, way to reach your fitness goals this summer. Taking a walk every day can help manage cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease and lower blood sugar. Walking can fit into any lifestyle and, of course, it's completely free. You can increase the health benefits with weights, like the lightweights that come in Let’s Be Well Boxes. If you have a dog, taking them out for regular walks will definitely get their tail wagging and your heart pumping. Hiking is also an amazing way to explore some of the state and national parks and trails near you. Hiking trails are Mother Nature’s gym carved into the mountains for you to explore. A healthy dose of foliage never hurt anyone, so go on an adventure this summer!


Tennis: 

Tennis is an awesome, cheap way to stay in shape, as many parks have public tennis courts. Even though the scoring can be confusing, there is so much to love about tennis, like the fact that people who play racket sports have 56% lower risk of dying of heart disease or a stroke. You don’t have to be Serena Williams to tear up the tennis court and gain all the health benefits, either. All you have to do is find a partner and get your rackets swinging. If you’re worried that tennis might be too intense, there are lower-impact options like badminton or table tennis, which can be just as good for you. Set up a badminton net in your backyard and invite friends over for some healthy competition!


Just like everything else in life, balance and variety are essential. Switching up your routine can spark new passion and excitement for your health and fitness. While having a healthy body is important, having a healthy mind is indispensable. We promise, if you find an outdoor activity that brings you joy and inner peace, fitness will feel more like a hobby and less like a chore. So, check with your doctor, get creative, invite a friend, and find out all that's waiting for you outside your front door. 

#LetsBeWell

#HealthyHeartBox