You know what I personally find fun and exciting?! Spending as much time as possible outside during the weekend. I enjoy staying active and fit while simultaneously saving my hard-earned money — not letting a huge gym corporation suck it out of my feeble precious bank account. That’s what gets me going. I love discovering fun ways to spend time outdoors and make working out more social and less forced. While the work week lends itself more to solo workouts and solitary jogs, I love using the weekend to hang out with friends, get outside, and spend larger chunks of time doing the things I love.
We’ve written about ways to stay fit on a budget before, but I think it’s always worth exploring ways to stay in shape that don’t feel like traditional workouts. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand that working out isn’t just about toning and strengthening, it’s about caring for your mind and mental well being as well. The weekend should be a time where you take care of your mental and physical health by spending time focusing on you. It’s important to maintain a quality of life that feels rich and enjoyable and spending time outside is a huge contributing factor to that. Whether it’s trekking down to your local farmers market, meditating in a park, or pacing yourself through an hour-long yoga tape, it’s nice to get moving, reinvigorate yourself, and get the blood flowing after a long week of work.
Of course the activities below don’t have to be limited to just the weekend (and shouldn’t be in a perfect world), but for me it’s the only time I have during the week where I can set aside a few hours. Check out the six ideas below!
Do laps around you local farmers market.
The other weekend, I cleared up the afternoon, packed up my reusable tote bags, grabbed some cash, and headed out to the local farmers market near my apartment. There are few things more satisfying than breaking a sweat and working up an appetite as you shop around for delicious farm-fresh goodies. I usually make it a point to choose one that is far away so I spend a solid forty-five minutes walking briskly with a friend to get there. BONUS: you literally feel zero guilt saying “yes” to sample after sample of apple butter, scones, organic chicken sausage, delectable cookies, breads, honey comb, etc. It’s the ultimate way to workout without feeling like you are actually working out. I make sure that I always go with a friend because it’s a multitasker’s dream — exercise + grocery shopping + hot gossip. The trifecta of a Saturday afternoon well spent.
Take your workout outside with apps.
When I was trying to get in shape to run a half marathon last summer (which I never ended up doing) I would use YouTube workout videos, in addition to my runs, to help me train. If you’re looking to get outside and breathe in the fresh air as you get your #fit on, fitness apps are your new best friend. There are a ton of fantastic apps that allow you to take your workout outside, and you don’t need to have Wifi to use them. I love using the daily ab workout app which sets reminders for me to do the activity (which ranges from five to ten minutes in length). Check out these great resources to find yourself the best fitness apps which you can take on the go.
- The 10 Best Workout Apps
- 5k Running Program
- 10 Best Yoga Apps
- Top Ab Workout Apps
- 10 Fantastic Interval Training Apps
- Great Cardio Fitness Apps
Bike around your neighborhood.
Biking is the ultimate way for people who want to explore a large portion of their local city or neighborhood but don’t feel like driving or walking around everywhere. TFD posted an article about how to get yourself set up as a beginner biker here. Personally, I love biking because it works my entire core, strengthens my legs like no other exercise does, and is extremely low impact. I have bad knees from years of dancing competitively and getting injured, so biking is a great way to stay in shape and get outside. While the dead of winter is obviously a tough season for biking outdoors, it’s a very easy activity to move indoors. You can buy a bike training stand and use the bike you already own to continue exercising in your own home. Budget-friendly win!
Bring the social outside.
Plan a picnic, a brunch outside, a picnic with friend, or a very small impromptu block party. Or, you can go crazy and try to get to know your neighbors, and invite them out on the stoop, patio, yard, or garden to have a drink. Anything that gets you outside and moving around is enough to kick in those endorphins, which elevate your mood. You can plan for a game of volleyball at your local park, initiate a game of badminton, play twister, whatever! There are a ton of ways to utilize community outdoor space with friends, so you’re able to enjoy outdoor space to its fullest.
Staying in shape doesn’t just apply to your body, it applies to your mind as well. Mediating outside is a great way to ~get in touch with nature~, lower stress levels, and spend quality time unwinding. I know a lot of people who practice daily meditation, the time spent on which can range from five to 30 minutes, and sing it’s praises. There are a lot of different meditation methods (although the one I use is very simple), so take time to figure out which is the right method for you.
Finally, I can recommend no better way to get in a good sweat than taking a LONG ASS walk. There’s no better way to get a very budget-friendly workout into your weekend schedule than giving yourself a fun destination that is very far away. Grab a friend, pack some snacks to munch on, and walk all the way there. Chelsea and I often do this, and it’s a great way to force yourself to put in a sizable amount of time staying active. It’s an opportunity to chat with friends while doing something fun. Try it! Spend an hour walking to an exciting destination and see how easily you can kick your weekend workout up a notch!
There are so many ways to spend your weekend staying active and working on your fitness — the key is to make it fun and social. To me, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday than enjoying as much downtime outside as possible and slowing down to make my mental and physical health a priority.