Nature as Your Gym

11 Outdoor Workout Spots

There’s no need to feel restricted inside a gym when The Palm Beaches offer so many scenic spots, perfect for exercising outdoors. Get inspired to get fit, while you admire beautiful scenery, take in fresh air and year-round comfortable weather from Boca Raton to Jupiter/Tequesta.
Pack your sunscreen and water, because health experts say using nature as your gym is a good way to break out of a workout rut and challenge yourself in a new environment. Picturesque beaches, tropical sunshine and refreshing South Florida ocean breezes will motivate you to make your next workout an alfresco one!
“It’s easy to have enthusiasm for the outdoors and embrace the beauty that’s around you in The Palm Beaches,” says Jennifer Martin, an internationally recognized spiritual life coach and expert yoga teacher. “For a complete mind, body and soul experience with yoga, there’s no better way to rejuvenate yourself than to connect with nature.”

Jennifer Martin at the Juno Beach Pier

“It’s a blessing to be able to exercise outside any time of the year,” Martin continues. “Here in Florida, I have the unique opportunity to teach outdoor classes, because we enjoy the benefits of great weather. That’s not necessarily the case elsewhere, so I highly recommend heading outside and enjoying the warm sun for a powerful workout.”
So go ahead – immerse yourself in the gorgeous surroundings of paradise we call The Palm Beaches. You’ll have so much fun, it will feel more like play than exercise! Here are 11 outdoor workout ideas to help keep your fitness routine fresh and energized:

Define your back muscles as you get an up-close view of the Lake Worth Lagoon, the largest estuary in The Palm Beaches and home to a wide range of Florida wildlife. The Lagoon is a prime location for bird watching, and occasionally you’ll even spot a manatee or dolphin.

Kayaking the Lake Worth Lagoon
Photo courtesy Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management

Now through December 1, 2016, you can save money on kayaking, paddle boarding and relaxing at the end of the day with a sunset cruise. The new Discover Watersports Pass allows you to explore The Palm Beaches’ incredible waterways at a huge savings, with options beginning at just $38 for children and $50 for adults.

For picture-perfect views of the Intracoastal Waterway combined with cardio, try a bike ride along the Palm Beach Lake Trail. Whether you’re admiring the West Palm Beach city skyline, the iconic Palm Beach mansions or the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, you’re in complete control of your workout.

Bike along the Palm Beach Lake Trail

The paved path begins on the south end at Society of the Four Arts, and goes for approximately five miles (ten miles round-trip) with multiple access points. Fun fact: the historic trail was the first road in Palm Beach!

Tone your entire body, including your core muscles, with stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) on the ocean with former pro-surfer Jodi Nelson. She describes the exercise as “hiking on water.” The class emphasizes stability and control.

yEAUga photo courtesy Eau Spa

Expect a water nirvana experience like no other in this two-hour balancing act focused on core and yoga moves. You use a paddle to navigate across the waters as you perform yoga poses on a long, oversized board. 

Grab a leash for a healthful jog on the beach for both you and your four-legged friend. Running on sand gives your lower body a deeper workout than running on pavement, challenging hard-to-target feet muscles.

Juno Beach dog beach

Man’s best friend will also get exercise and enrichment on this stretch of sand in Jupiter, which is one of Florida’s only dog-friendly beaches. Cap off your run with a game of fetch for even more of a workout.

They’re sweeping the country: equipment-filled “playgrounds for adults” designed to help people get out and get fit. Experts say these outdoor gyms could be the answer for couch potatoes, because they provide free gear and are easily accessible. The Outdoor Fitness Zone at John Prince Park offers adults a chance for more spontaneous, playful, physical activity.

John Prince Park Outdoor Fitness Zone

Choose from 17 different pieces of resistance exercise equipment, such as parallel bars, a chess press, a lat pull down machine, elliptical machines, a leg press, pull up bars, a self-weighted rower, ski walker and many others. From basic stretching spots to strength training and cardiovascular equipment, you can take your pick for a refreshing outdoor workout.

The waterfront amphitheater at Jupiter’s Harbourside Place plays host to an all-levels vinyasa yoga class, which benefits from a live DJ. “I encourage students to use open-air yoga as a way to energize, or restore and heal,” explains Martin. “These outdoor classes are a reminder to seize the day and take advantage of the moment.”

Harbourside Place AMPed up Yoga

A rousing game of volleyball with friends is a fun way to get your heart pumping. Jumping on the sand engages your lower body, and hitting the ball strengthens your arms and shoulders. The volleyball nets are adjacent to the Ocean Mall, next to the walkway to the beach. If you prefer swinging a racquet over spiking a volleyball, try a game of tennis at the nearby courts.

Peanut Island

Snorkeling gives you a low-impact workout that is also entertaining, as you swim with the diverse marine life for which The Palm Beaches are famous. Accessible by boat, kayak or Water Taxi, Peanut Island is a man-made island in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway. The shallow depths mean this place is safe for children and beginner snorkelers.

Photo courtesy Mike Scott Photography

The crystal-clear water and variety of fish helped Peanut Island snag the honor of being named one of the top 12 spots in the country for snorkeling. The Palm Beaches offer some of the best year-round snorkeling in the world, thanks to the area's unique proximity to the Gulf Stream. Because the land is so close to the current, you can expect warm water temperatures, no matter the month. The best time of day to go is one hour before and one hour after high tide.

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum hosts yoga classes every Monday with Mary Veal, Kula Yoga Shala, on the Lighthouse Deck at sunset. The classes begin at approximately 6 p.m., depending on the time of sunset. Beginners are welcomed at these all-levels classes, which are offered by donation. Attendees are encouraged to bring a yoga mat and a flashlight.

Photo courtesy Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
President & CEO Jamie Stuve

Use technology to enhance your outdoor workout at this park, by using your smartphone camera to scan the unique QR Codes for exercise equipment. Each code downloads to a free one-minute exercise video including your own personal trainer, motivating you through each exercise’s pacing, modification and technique.

Patch Reef Park Fitness Trail

Whether you prefer speed-walking at sunrise, or a leisurely pace to unwind at dusk, this peaceful park gives you healthful options with paved paths around a small lake. The 51-acre park serves as a desirable location for activity, with lights for two ball fields and two soccer fields, volleyball courts and jogging paths. Pavilions, gazebos and playgrounds for children make it ideal for family activities.

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