April 02, 2014

Gym-free Workouts, At Home Exercises & Outdoor Workouts

By Sara Jayne Crow

I loathe the gym. I know that they’re convenient places to work out, and I’ve been a member at several over the years, but I can’t help feeling like I’m a gerbil on a wheel while working out on the elliptical. And then there’s other people’s sweat, the water fountain hogs, the flirty sweaters,  the moaners, the teen doused in cologne, the aspiring actor guy with too much hair gel wearing sunglasses while he works out. Not to mention various body odor scents in the locker rooms.

Gym-free Workouts, At Home Exercises & Outdoor Workouts

I’m not trying to discredit gyms or advocate dumping your membership, as I think we all need as many options to work out as possible. But, I do love getting out into the open to do my workouts. Here are my top five gym-free workouts, in no particular order. Since I live in Los Angeles, I’ve mentioned a few spots where I do my workouts, mostly on the West side of the city.
1) Stairclimbing. Climbing stairs is a great workout, and definitely good for the tushy. I like the Santa Monica Steps on Adelaide Drive, here.

Gym-free workouts - Stair-Climbing

2) Hiking. I love trail running and hiking: great ways to get some fresh air while you also get exercise. My favorite respite from LA’s exhaust fumes is at Will Rogers State Historic Park near Pacific Palisades. The trails also connect to the massive Topanga Fire Road trail.
3) Paddlesurfing. I’ve only Stand Up Paddlesurfed twice; once in Kauai at the placid and cerulean-water Hanalei Bay (very recommended) and once in Santa Monica, surrounded by pods of dolphins for hours (also very recommended), but I’m going to start going regularly. Paddlesurfing is an excellent core workout and gives you ample opportunity to refine your sense of balance and stability.
4) MostFit Suspension Strap at the Park. I love taking the MostFit to a nearby park, slinging the suspension strap around a tree trunk and doing one of the various workouts they outline on their YouTube page.
Outdoor Suspension Strap Exercise
5) Mountain Biking.Uphill mountain biking is ideal: feel the burn in the first part of the ascent, and then coast all the way down when you’re good and tired. My favorite location is actually in Altadena near the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the San Gabriel Mountains. More info here.

My name is Sara Jayne Crow, and I write blogs, articles and other stuff for people. Find out more at my website, Stray Poodle Media.

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