Refresh Your Usual Workout with the Great Outdoors

Refresh Your Usual Workout with the Great Outdoors

Surfers standing on the sand with their surfboards at Huntington Beach

Nothing like a morning surf at Huntington Beach!

If you’re anything like me, you would rather do almost any other activity in the world than run on a treadmill for an hour or even worse – an hour of Insanity. However, summer is fast approaching and you’ll want to be fit and healthy in order to do all of the activities that you’ve been waiting to do all year long. What is a treadmill hater to do?


Simple, go outside!


Bonnie Paresa holding snowboard by lodge.

Here’s me, all smiles before I fell down more than 20 times.

There are many other ways to stay fit and healthy rather than sweating in a gym all day. While the gym can be a satisfying workout for some, it can sometimes become repetitive. If you’re looking to shake things up a bit, let me introduce you to my world of the great outdoors.


Bonnie Paresa with friend on hiking trail.

That’s me in the back happy to have conquered the most strenuous trail of my life, with my ultra-fit friend in the front.

Believe me, I am not the most athletically inclined individual, but I did want to take on the challenge of getting stronger and learning something new simultaneously.


Surfing, snowboarding, hiking and rock climbing are all great ways to stay in shape, but to also break away from the conventional ways of getting fit. Here are some ways to transform your regular routine into an enjoyable activity (no treadmill required).


1.  Surfing

“There’s no place I’d rather be, then on a surfboard out at sea…”

Have you ever looked at a surfer’s body? Do I even need to say more? Probably not, but I will. This outdoor sport has a lot to offer to your body. Not only is it great for your cardiovascular system, but it also tones your core, back, shoulders and legs. All of that paddling requires a strong back and shoulders; it also gets your heart rate going and your arms moving. Balancing on the board will also build a strong core and leg muscles. Perfect for sunny California all year long! Just make sure to check the tides and don’t try to shred a gnarly wave if you’re still a beginner.


2. Snowboarding

If you’re searching for balance and strength, look no further. Although this may not be a year round activity, many California snow resorts open around November and stay open until March or April, producing man-made snow. Snowboarding works many major muscle groups, including your quads, hamstrings and calves. Just like surfing, balancing on the board also requires a strong core (who doesn’t want that?). It is also beneficial for your arms because if you’re new to the sport, you will find yourself falling and picking yourself up again-a lot.


Beginner tip: DO NOT choose the 8800 foot slope if you have never snowboarded before (not that I know this from experience).


3. Hiking

Already a popular activity, hiking is very advantageous to your body. Depending on your skill level, you can go on longer hikes with more strenuous terrain, or you can keep it lighter with a slower pace and an easier trail. There are really great trails near the Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) campus as well. The Claremont loop is a hot spot for students because of its close vicinity. It’s also great for beginners because there are two trails to choose from, one which is easier than the other. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, check out Eaton Canyon; your destination is a glorious cascading waterfall.


4. Rock Climbing

Lastly, rock climbing! This can be an indoor or outdoor sport depending on your skill and thrill level. However, there is nothing wrong with indoor climbing gyms. Luckily for CPP students, we will soon have our own rock wall in the Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC), which will be the largest rock wall in the CSU system! The best part about rock climbing is that it’s a total body workout. It targets on the arms, chest, back and legs, which will increase muscle tone. Who doesn’t want muscle tone? Before a climb, always make sure that you have the proper equipment and skill level for the type of rigor you will be taking on.


So there we go Broncos grab your friends to try something new and switch up your routine! Try one of these or try them all! Just remember, stay hydrated, load up on the sunscreen and then let adventure take over (Shaun T’s got nothing on me!).