Feed Your Outdoor Needs in the City

For outdoorsy folk, living in a city can sometimes feel a little confining. Sure, your job, family and friends are all there but you miss the fresh air and the wild, open spaces. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to be active outdoors without leaving the city. After all, it may be made of concrete, but it’s still a jungle.

Give parkour a go
Parkour and freerunning are the most urban of all outdoor activities. (You can read about the origins of parkour here.) By moving your body over, under and around all the elements of urban infrastructure, you redefine your relationship with the city and learn a great deal about your physical and mental limits.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be incredibly fit or daring to practice parkour. It’s a very inclusive discipline and whether you’re 15 or 51, you can find appropriate ways to challenge yourself.

There are many beginner-friendly classes and gatherings provided by organizations such as Movement Creative in New York City. To find out more about indoor and outdoor classes in your area, calling up one of the parkour gyms situated across the country.

Redefine your commute
There’s nothing more mundane than commuting… unless you run or cycle to work! Cycling is obviously the faster of these two options and very often it doesn’t take much longer than taking the subway. A human-powered commute saves you money and keeps you fit for when you do get to an adventure in the great outdoors.

If you live and work in an area where the air quality isn’t great, keep your lungs happy by wearing a pollution mask.  

Military fitness
In the UK, British Military Fitness organizes one-hour, boot camp style classes described as “serious fun.” Participants are assigned a colorful bib that indicates their fitness level and allows the military-trained instructor to adjust the intensity of the session.

Come rain or shine, the BMF classes are always held outdoors, usually in parks. The majority of exercises are bodyweight based and performed on grassy lawns, so expect to get muddy!  

Outside of the UK, you can read this website to find ideas about army-style workouts. You can also search the web for gyms such as Brooklyn Bridge BootCamp, which offers military-inspired fitness classes in NYC.

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