During the holidays or any time of travel, finding a place to work on your fitness can prove challenging. Family and friends are no help either, especially if they don’t workout themselves. They’ll send you to the local park, where you’ll find nothing but untamed trees and grass or worse, snow.
It’s better than a busy street, but there may better options for you if you look around. We’ll come back to how to find these places.
Take this list as a good starting place. In general, what you’re looking for are various levels, inclines and such. If there are strong railings, those can come in handy for doing pulling work.
You can do push-up or squats anywhere, but you can also plant your feet next to a firm railing, grab on, lean back, then pull yourself up to work your back.
Get creative, have fun, but use your brain. Don’t try to use a shower curtain rod or the rod in a closet. They will break. You will get hurt.
Industrial Park or Business District
If there are business open, with people milling about, this may not work. It also will not work if there is an overcommitted security team in place. Be aware of “no trespassing” signs.
That said, city planners set up some business districts for employees to stay fit during lunch breaks. They may have workout stations you can leverage for your own workout.
Not only that, if they are set up this way, they may not care if you play through, so long as you’re not peeking in windows.
When children are present, this one may not work. It depends on how many there are and whose kids. A better plan would be to go early before the kids show up.
Monkey bars make a reliable place for hanging work, pull-ups, knee-ups, muscle-ups. The various levels of the playground may function for plyometric hops.
You can use a fire pole for climbing, up and down until your back muscles bulge or your hands fall off.
If there’s a sand pit. shovel sand through your legs like a dog to work your upper body. After you move a good-sized pile, move it back.
Break up your moves with sprints around the park.
The bigger the staircase, the better.
Stairs, if they are long enough, work for cardio and resistance training. You can perform two-foot hops up the stairs to develop your leg power. Sprint them for explosive running.
Do pushups with your feet higher than your hands. Do them with your feet lower than your hands, or do them sideways with you body uneven. Heck, do all of three in rotation with seated dips.
Use a level point on the handrail, maybe at the bottom or top, to work your pulling muscles. Lie on your back, grab the bar, then pull your chest up the bar.
Again, break up your exercises by sprinting the stairs to pump your heart rate. The local mall is good place to find stairs if it’s snowy.
A hill works like a smooth version of stairs. If you’ve even run through hilly streets, you know. Hills are no joke.
If you’re in a residential area, you’ll have a hard time finding fixed bars for pulling, but you can mix in push-ups, squats, walking lunges or isometrics like planks.
Do five minutes of running the hills, then stop long enough to do some ground work.
The neighbors may give some funny looks, but who cares? If you’re on vacation, when will you see them again?
This is the hardest one of the bunch to vary your workout. A trail can provide many obstacles, but at the end of the day, you’ll focus on mostly off-road cardio.
If you can take it, run that trail or vary your speed. Use different footfalls to keep it interesting.
Some objects that can help break up a nature trail are rocks, tree limbs or mile markers. A man-made pole sticking out of the ground can function for pulling work.
Stand close to the pole, feet together. Grab the pole however you’re comfortable, then lower your butt to the ground. Pull yourself back to standing, then repeat.
A boulder or bench off the trail can work for a dip or plyometric jumps. Just, be aware of wildlife.
To find some of these, use social media or mapping programs. You’d be surprised what you get by typing “fitness” in a Google maps search. A blast in Reddit may turn up some good suggestions too.
Just, don’t go alone if you have any concerns about where you’re gonna go. If you must go alone, make sure someone knows exactly where you’re going, and when you’ll be back. No workout is worth your safety.