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Fitness: Outside the Box


Fitness culture continues to grow. Health clubs are expanding with new locations, private studios are opening and opportunities for fitness are becoming more accessible. There are a number of fitness studios that are helping to shape the fitness scene by diversifying the selection of exercise techniques available in the area.
What’s great about Michigan summers is the abundance of outdoor fitness possibilities. From biking, hiking to walking the urban terrains, Michigan has the framework to support a variety of quality outdoor activities. Burning calories with your favorite instructor at a local studio is always good, but there’s something a little more exciting about blending exercise with exploration on a trail run or long bike ride. Without the machines, colorful equipment and four walls, fitness becomes more of an experience rather than just another sweaty 60 minutes. After an intense gym workout I’m sure you feel exhausted yet accomplished. But how do you feel at the top of a challenging hike when gazing downward at the landscape you’ve just conquered? Exhausted and accomplished times ten, right?
For some reason outdoor fitness seems to yield greater reward than working out inside. Personally, outdoor activity exercises my mind better than indoor routines. I tend to think about life, ideas and things I’m passionate about, versus just focusing on the workout itself while at the gym. Whether it’s experiencing a new activity I’m not necessarily familiar with or exploring new areas, outdoor fitness tends to come equipped with adventure and freedom.

Summer is time to explore wellness based activities and integrate overall health into your everyday life.

In Michigan the window of time to participate in outdoor fitness activities is fairly slim. It’s in our best interest to take advantage while we can. Look at winter as being a period to maintain a disciplined gym routine in effort to protect yourself from the grey skies and holiday eating trends. Summer is time to explore wellness based activities and integrate overall health into your everyday life. Lunch with friends can be transformed into group bike rides, an hour on the treadmill can be replaced with jogging new territory and even grocery shopping at a big box retailer can be simplified to picking up healthy food at your neighborhood farmer’s market. Outdoor activity may be your healthy replacement for entertainment and as well as a tool to freshen up your fitness plan.
Michigan summers are gorgeous; it’s like southern California minus the traffic and salt. By now you should be licking your chops at the thought of consistent sunshine and open toed footwear. However, when you decide to put on those cross trainers, get them dirty!
Think outside the box. Satisfy your craving for clear skies with an adventurous outdoor activity that challenges your body. Explore your environment at a higher heart rate and become a better fitness enthusiast. Have more fun with your fitness and wellness, and you’ll see it become an important part of your lifestyle.
Dakota is a professional fitness and lifestyle coach based in Grand Rapids. He is often called upon by active business professionals and fitness enthusiasts for his expertise in functional strength training and healthy living.


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