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6 Tips For Staying Fit And Avoiding The Gym

Ditch the sweaty benches and selfies and get in shape outside.

By: Jen Weir + Save to a List

If you fancy yourself an adventurous spirit with a wicked case of wanderlust, you know how important it is to get and stay fit. After all, a low cardio base and feeble muscles can make a mountain trek pretty miserable if not downright impossible for some. A lot of people believe the gym is the only way to get into fighting shape, but I beg to differ. Nothing against the gym, but if you’re not into the selfie breaks and texting between sets, there are plenty of ways to stay fit for adventure without visiting your local sweat box – not to mention, the cash you don’t spend on a gym membership could go toward some pretty stellar gear.

1. Do what you love.

Staying fit doesn’t mean endless hours on the treadmill – in my opinion, the best way to stay in shape is simply to do. Do whatever it is you love, as long as you’re physically doing something. Hike, swim, run, cycle, play catch with your dog, ultimate Frisbee with your friends or go old school and hack it up (hacky sack for the uninformed) during your lunch break.

Bikes & Brews on Route 151 | Photo: Christin Healey

2. Stay active.

Throughout every day, make it a point to stay active. Yes, an actual 30-60 minute workout every day is great but staying active all day long is even better. Stand at your desk, take breaks to move around whenever possible, take the stairs and walk or bike to work. Basically, every chance you have to move, do it. The more you move every day, the healthier and fitter you’ll be.

3. Don’t underestimate yourself.

Your body is your best tool for staying fit – bodyweight exercises don’t get enough credit, but they can go a long way to keep you strong and lean. Push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, handstands, burpees, mountain climbers, one-armed mountain climbers – the list goes on. Whether you rely on a daily calisthenic routine or go all out with high-intensity interval training, you can use every one of these exercises to sculpt a fitter version of yourself.

4. Invest in a kettlebell.

Strength training is ideal for staying fit; however, weights are expensive and take up a ton of room. Enter the kettlebell – it’s small, affordable and has the potential to get you in spectacular shape. It’s a multi-purpose piece of equipment that can help you build strength, stamina and help you lose the few pesky pounds you packed on during the off-season.

Run the 4-Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness | Photo: Jason Hatfield

5. Build a backyard playground.

I know not everyone has a yard, but if you do, by all means, use it. Install some rings, ropes, bars, a climbing wall, old tires or anything else you can think of. Spend a few minutes out there every day – you’ll not only get in great shape, you’ll have fun too! Not to mention, you’ll have a place to throw your kids when they start to get a little unruly.

6. Don’t limit your focus to exercise.

Good food and plenty of sleep are just as, if not more, important to staying fit as actual physical activity. If you skimp on the z’s and nosh on crap, you’re going to be far from the epitome of health. Take care of yourself and you’ll be ready for whatever the next adventure throws at you.

Cover photo: Jason Hatfield

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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