Top Ten Outside the Box Summertime Workout Ideas

Jill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS

Summertime alternative workout idea 1

10. Running on the Lake Michigan beach - it really is cooler and more inspiring by the lake!

9. Head to the local park. Remember what you did as a kid? Do just that! The monkey bars, the swing, how about a game of HORSE, lightning, or some 1 on 1 or 3 on 3 basketball? Play each member of the family in a game of tennis. Even a trip to a water park in the Dells with the family counts- what goes down those monstrous slides, must climb up, a gazillion times, and your quads will be thanking you, in about a week!

Alternative summer workout idea 28. Hiking in relaxing, but challenging terrain in a state or national park. Hiking too easy? Okay, mountain bike that trail instead! Not enough adrenaline pumping through your veins yet? Go ahead and try rock climbing or bouldering! Or whitewater rafting! The sky is the limit in our beautiful state and national parks!

7. Rollerblading around town on a hot summer’s day is the perfect cross-training easy day for the mind and body.

6. Joining a bike tour around the Door Peninsula or Lake Winnebago. Better yet, rent a bicycle built for two on vacation, or visit a destination like Mackinac Island, Michigan, where bikes are the only option (no motorized vehicles allowed!) to get around.

5. Try kayaking on one of Wisconsin’s numerous rivers or quiet lakes- it’s a great upper body workout on a rest day for those tired legs!

4. Try your first Muddy Buddy! In case you are not aware of what these races entail, you and/or a team of runners navigate a course of 1 to 4 miles while navigating obstacles and end in a gigantic mud pit! It’s a great way to get rid of some old, ugly running clothes and shoes that you were going to toss anyway and have a great time while doing it.

3. Water balloon fight in the backyard. Trust me, this will be a bigger work-out than you think, and you can involve the whole family!

2. Horseback riding lesson - in a stable or on the beach, this is a huge core workout in addition to legs, thighs, arms, back, and many other muscles you didn’t know existed!

1. Hiking sand dunes, whether you run, walk, or roll down them, it’s quite a workout and a lot of fun! Here’s some places to visit some sand dunes in and around the Great Lakes: Whitefish Dunes State Park, Door County, Wisconsin; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gary, Indiana; Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, Empire, Michigan (pictured below).

Alternative Summer workout idea 3