Take It Outside

Let me start with an official disclaimer: I am by no means a fitness expert. I’ve owned the same pair of sneakers since 2012, and I’ve conveniently blamed my resistance to running on the sports bra industry’s incompetence in creating a magical gravity-defying bionic bra. That being said, consider this article a letter from one “regular girl” to another… because believe it or not, there are ways to make getting your exercise (dare I say it) fun. If there weren’t, none of us would be in shape! (And relax about the sneakers…I’ve got a new pair on the way as we speak.)

All jokes aside, I can’t stress the importance of making your fitness lifestyle just that: a lifestyle. It should be molded and bent to fit you, not the other way around. Personally, being inside a gym doesn’t do much for me. Between the monotony of a machine, the pressure of an audience, and the excitement only as intense as the playlist I choose, it’s not my most motivating environment. And if you make your workout a task, you can bet your (sore) bum that it’ll feel like one.

However, as a soon-to-be college senior, I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last three years in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. And while my experiences at St. Michael’s College have been invaluable and irreplaceable, my experiences in getting to know the area have been just as rewarding. I’ve taken advantage of the many opportunities within my reach from fall through spring to explore my outdoor surroundings, whether I’m skiing Smuggler’s Notch or hiking Camel’s Hump. As I’ve intensified these interests and developed others, these once new experiences have since become part of my lifestyle and routine.

That being said, here’s why I’ve grown to prefer taking my workout outside…

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The motivation of a destination…

When you’re hiking a mountain, skiing through the woods or kayaking across the lake, you’re going somewhere. You’re working towards a finish line. You’re ending in a different place than where you started. And while some may argue that it’s about the journey, I like my journey to end with a view, a lunch break, and a photo-op.

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It’s all about the scenery…

Whether your backdrop is the woods, the mountains or the ocean, there’s something about all the glorious landscapes out there that takes away the effort and makes it an adventure or a getaway. Which brings me to…

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Exercise vs. Explore…

So much in life is about your mindset. You could tell yourself you’re going to go work out, or you could tell yourself you’re going hiking. You could tell yourself you’re going to the gym, or you could tell yourself you’re taking off into nature. Your workout will be no more and no less than exactly what you make it, so why not make it beautiful, new, exciting and unpredictable?

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Set goals, not your treadmill speed…

One of the greatest things about getting into exercise in the outdoors is that there’s always somewhere new to explore, another peak to conquer, and another adventure to cross off your bucket list. Maybe next time you’ll seek out a higher summit, a tougher trail, or a longer river. There’s so much more to it than buttons on a machine, so get out there and find it!

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How do you find motivation, adventure, and beauty in your workout?

Written by featured blogger Claire Cavanaugh

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