Summer will be here before you know it and that means it’s finally time to start thinking of ways to stay active when the weather is nice. Visiting a gym isn’t always an option and, if you’re like most Denver residents, spending the money on a gym membership just isn’t worth the strain on your budget. Luckily, there are many ways to get active and in shape without having feeling like you’re actively working out. Even better, those same activities can help you avoid needing help from your Aurora physical therapy
team. Here are a few budget-friendly gym alternatives to consider participating in this summer.
Denver is lucky enough to have miles upon miles of bike trails that you can take advantage of throughout the year. Many of them are even cleared in the winter, so you can start using them regardless of the weather!
So, grab your bike and start riding. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have. As long as it has two wheels and the tires hold air, you’re good to go.
Start small, going just a few miles at a time until you build up stamina. Once you get used to biking on a regular basis and develop stronger leg muscles and endurance, you can even try commuting to work by bike.
This type of exercise is a great low-impact alternative to running and can still get your heart rate up in no time. If you develop a true passion for the sport, you can always invest in a nicer bike that will help you stay more comfortable for more hours in the saddle.
Go for Hikes Each Weekend
Downtown Denver may be flat, but the mountains are just a short drive away. Use this to your advantage and start hiking each weekend. Pick trails close to home for easier routes and, as you get stronger and in better shape, look for more challenging routes a bit further away from home.
Places like Estes Park and the I-70 corridor have hundreds of great hiking trails that will let you get deep into nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Just make sure to check the weather forecast before you leave home and always pack several layers. The higher you go in elevation, the cooler the days will be and you never know when a surprise rainstorm will leave you shivering by the time you get back to your car.
Try Some TRX
If you’re already in decent shape and really want to build strength without adding tons of bulk to your frame, try running through some TRX routines
. Our staff is on-hand to help you get started with this unique bodyweight workout method.
As a general rule, try to schedule an appointment with an experienced TRX instructor until you get the hang of the workouts and movements. Since you’re not using stationary weight machines, you’ll want someone to point out potential problems with your form until you get used to the way exercises are supposed to feel.
Once you have a good understanding and body awareness in place, you’ll be able to get a good workout in at home.
Run Through Yoga Routines in the Backyard
Yoga is a great way to build strength while improving your flexibility and range of motion. If you’re new to yoga, going to classes surrounded by other people can often feel a bit overwhelming. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go to classes to get a good yoga session in.
All you need is an open space and an internet connection. Pull up a yoga routine on YouTube and run through the poses with the instructor on the screen. We recommend working out in your backyard since there’s less risk of hitting your arms and legs on furniture as you run through poses.
If you don’t have room to stretch out, feel free to modify the poses as needed. You can still get a good workout even if you have to keep your movements closer to your body.
Hit the Stairs
If you’re looking for a real challenge or just want to be able to claim that you’ve finally done something on your Colorado bucket list, hit the stairs. The Manitou Incline outside of Colorado Springs has you gaining a whopping 2,000 feet of elevation as you climb, making it one of the most challenging workouts in the area.
Just make sure to bring plenty of water. The last thing you want to do is get dehydrated while you’re climbing.
The Denver area has tons of lakes that you can take advantage of and few activities are more fun and more challenging on the water than paddleboarding. Rent a stand-up paddleboard from your favorite outdoor equipment store and head to the lake of your choice.
As you paddle, you’ll be able to work on your arm strength, balance, and core strength at the same time. Even better, the activity feels like so much fun that you won’t even think you’re exercising.
If, as you work out, you get overheated, all you have to do is sit on the board and drop your legs into the water. If that’s not enough, you can always hop off the board altogether and enjoy the cool Colorado water on a hot summer day.
You can even rent paddleboards for the whole family and enjoy an afternoon on the lake together.
Keep These Activities in Mind
If you’re looking for a great way to get active, these exercises are an ideal place to start. Pick one once the weather warms up and get your heart rate up. As you start to get in better shape, you can push yourself to try new activities or stay out for longer periods of time.
If at any point you feel like you’re not able to work out to your fullest potential due to an old injury, don’t wait. Schedule an assessment
with our physical therapy team and let us help you get on the road to recovery.