7 Fitness Tips for the Urban Exerciser

City dwellers have more exercise opportunities at their fingertips than the average suburbanite. Sure, they may not have huge mega-gyms, but they do have huge parks and running trails they can use for free. If you’re an urban exerciser, or trying to become a better one, then shake up your workout routine with these seven fitness tips for exercising in the city.

  1. Go to a park:

    Besides the obvious running trails and bike paths, parks also have trees, benches, and other solid surfaces that can be incorporated into your workout. A bench can be used for tricep dips, side lunges, push-ups, and more. A tree can be used for planks, wall sits, and stretching. Bring a yoga mat and you can do stretches, crunches, and other exercise moves on virtually any park surface.

  2. Hit the trails:

    Most big cities have designated trails and green belts that can be used for running, biking, hiking, and other activities. Not only are trails an escape from traffic and noisy streets, but they also provide nice scenery and fresh air. Take a friend or your dog for added company, but try to stick to the paved trails for your safety.

  3. Make your commute count:

    If you’re lucky enough to live within a short walk or bike ride from work, then why not make your commute part of your daily workout routine? Even if you take the bus or subway, you can ditch your dress shoes or heels for your sneakers and power walk to the office. Breaking a sweat on the way to work will wake you up and get your heart pumping. Bring a hair dryer or towel to dry off, and no one will ever know you were working out on your way to work.

  4. Take the stairs:

    Whether they like it or not, urban dwellers are well acquainted with staircases. Although taking the stairs can feel like a chore, it definitely pays to take them over the elevator. Maximize your calorie burning and toning potential by taking the stairs at work, at home, and anywhere else you can climb. Run up and down stairs for anaerobic conditioning or strengthen your legs with stair lunges, calf raises, or side step-ups.

  5. Go to a playground:

    The same kind of playgrounds you frequented as a kid can be used to shake up your workout routine as an adult. Instead of waiting for your turn to use the monkey bars or cross the playground net, you should wait until everyone’s left so you don’t weird out the parents and can get a consistent workout. You can focus on using a few playground parts like ladders, ropes, and monkey bars, or make an obstacle course out of the entire playground set and time yourself.

  6. Use the public recreational spaces:

    Big cities are full of basketball courts, baseball fields, tennis courts, and other recreational spaces that are free and open to the public. Take advantage of these public spaces by getting a group of friends together to shoot some hoops, play flag football, or have a volleyball match. If the space is already occupied, ask if you can join in.

  7. Take advantage of citywide fitness classes:

    Living in the city, you are bound to see free fitness classes happening all around you. The city, community groups, gyms, and retailers often host citywide workout classes like yoga, zumba, fun runs, and other group programs. If you don’t mind big crowds and exercising outside, then you should definitely give these free classes a try.