Stay Fit–and Green

     Now that summer is in its final days, and it’s cooling off in many places, take a look out the window.  There are lots of fitness opportunities beckoning.  After all, when was the last time you heard anyone extol ’the great indoors?’ 

     Outdoor exercise can be fun, green, and certainly inexpensive.  You can save the cost of a gym membership and the gas required to drive to the gym.  Here are five easy, green, and cheap ways to stay fit, while also enjoying the outdoors:

1.  Walk.  Walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is.  A brisk walk is good for your mental health as well, studies show and many of us can affirm from experience.  No doubt there are many options for you.  Whether it’s a brisk walk around your neighborhood, a jaunt with your canine companion, or a power walk along a wooded trail or hiker-biker path, you can likely find a way to walk that  gives you both pleasure and some good aerobic exercise.  

2.  Run.  You don’t need to be a marathoner to enjoy jogging.  If you haven’t run in awhile, start slowly with a short, slow jog.  And add speed and distance over time.  Running is a great way to enjoy outdoor sights, sounds, and smells, whether you’re running through your neighborhood or through the woods.

3.  Ride your bike.  Going for a spin on the bike can be very pleasurable.  And biking has the advantage over walking that you can actually get some place without too much extra effort.  See how many of your errands you can do by bike.  There’s a good chance you can leave the car at home more than you might think if you’re able to devote a little more time to getting places.

4.  Make fitness a social occasion.  A regularly scheduled walk, hike, or bike ride with a friend is a good motivator and a good way to maintain regular contact with a friend.  And it’s cheaper and better for you than meeting for lunch or coffee.

5.  Take up an outdoor sport like tennis.  Whether you play well or not, it’s good exercise, especially if  engaging in a competition gets you outside more easily than just ‘exercising’ for its own sake  —April Moore


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