Workout Without A Gym

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Story By Hannah Lester

Photos By Josh Fisher and Hannah Lester

When you workout, you increase your serotonin levels, you lower your risk of diseases and chronic conditions and your can bump up your mood. 

Working out, however, in a crowded gym may not be your cup of tea during this pandemic. But don’t give up on your health — you can work out at home or outdoors! 

I’ve found that you have to mix it up, however, or you will start to get bored with your workouts and might even give up on them. 

Take up an outdoor activity during the warmer months, like running, biking or hiking.

Running 

Running requires little equipment — a pair of shoes and a place to run. I like to run in a local neighborhood by my apartment. 

I have friends that enjoy running in downtown. We also have several local parks in Auburn and Opelika that have trails for running (turn to page ____ to see our beautiful parks). 

Make sure you pick a quality pair of shoes or you’ll start to experience shin splints and foot pain. I use Salomons. The company makes shoes for trail running and pavement running in both men’s and women’s sizes. 

Biking

Biking, too, doesn’t require much equipment, at least not in Auburn. The Sustainability Office has a ‘War Eagle Bike Share’ program. 

Anyone can create an account (http://sustain.auburn.edu/engage/war-eagle-bike-share/) to borrow the bicycles and they aren’t just for students. 

The bikes do have to be kept within certain areas of Auburn but the map is available online and it covers a wide area. 

Biking gives you the benefit of a workout, combined with the added benefit of transportation. 

Hiking 

Auburn has hiking trails in both the Auburn-run Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and Chewacla State Park. 

Chewacla, located at 124 Shell Toomer Parkway, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, although it does require an entrance fee of $4 a person. Children 4 to 11 and adults 62 and up can enter for $2 and if your child is under 4, they can get in for free. 

The park also offers annual park passes. So, if you enjoy hiking and plan to go often enough, the annual park pass may be worth it to you. 

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has six miles of trails and there is no entrance fee to the preserve. 

Hiking allows you to spend time in nature while also taking care of your daily exercise. 

Depending on how strenuous your hike is, wear your tennis shoes or a pair of hiking boots. I have a pair of Salomon boots with good traction, that are also gore-tex, so that I can hike through water and on slippery surfaces without taking a spill. 

Calisthenics 

I do a lot of my exercising indoors, with minimal equipment. I have asthma, so once the winter months hit, I can no longer go running. The cold air negatively affects my lungs.

I use calisthenics, such as body-weight exercises to get my heart-rate up and tone muscles. 

Although not necessary, I like to have a mat so that my elbows and knees don’t get sore. 

Try starting with some pushups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks and a plank. If you want to ramp it up, invest in a jump rope. 

Weights

If you’re used to working out at a gym, with lots of weight sets and machines, consider investing in a set of exercise-resistance bands. 

They will take up a lot less space in your home then a full weight set but still give you the benefits of resistance on your muscles. 

These are just a few ways to work out at home! Workouts do not have be a set amount of time in your day dedicated to working out, you can make choices everyday that keep you active. 

Take the stairs instead of an elevator, park at the back of a parking lot and walk in or take your pet on an extra walk in the afternoon. 

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