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The 5 Best Cities For Outdoor Exercise

By Expert HERWriter
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The 5 Best Cities to Get Outdoor Exercise Sergey Nivens/Fotolia

Looking to move your exercise program outside and enjoy more biking, hiking, swimming, and climbing? Take advantage of all that these five cities have to offer, when it comes to the great outdoors, and switch up your workout routine away from the treadmill and weight rack.

Remember to do research, consider a class or group-led excursion for those who are new, be prepared, and dress appropriately.

1) Portland, Oregon

portland, oregonVia Roger/flickr

Routinely voted one of the best cities in the United States, Portland is known for a multitude of outdoor activity opportunities. Within the city are miles of designated bicycle lanes and a 5,000-acre city park for the urban hiker, appropriately named Forest Park.

The Willamette River cuts through the city, allowing kayakers and paddleboarders a good arm workout. Meanwhile, a popular skiing/snowboarding destination is about an hour away on Mount Hood. Or you can head to the ocean, also a little over an hour away, for surfing.

2) San Diego, California

san diego, california
Via SD Dirk/flickr

With beautiful weather most weeks of the year, there are outdoor activities for everyone. They include walking, running, skateboarding, hiking, swimming, rollerblading, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding along the ocean. Just remember to bring water and apply sunscreen before going out.

3) Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Via Kent Kanouse/flickr

Enjoy all the outdoor activities this mile-high city has to offer for opportunities from hiking and mountain biking in the forest, to kayaking in Confluence Park, and skiing or snowboarding down the Rocky Mountains all winter long.

4) Boston, Massachusetts

boston, massachusetts
Via Jeff Gunn/flickr

Get outside and enjoy the views along the Charles River Esplanade, which include walking, running, tai chi or rollerblading. Go hiking along the 125 miles the Blue Hills Reservation has to offer. Remember that Boston is a harbor town, so grab a paddle and kayak around the different islands.

5) Austin, Texas

austin, texas zilker park
Via Wally Gobetz/flickr

Austin, Texas is another city with beautiful weather. Take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities such as walking, running, or biking around Lady Bird Lake, or in the 350-acre Zilker Park that's located in the city.

These are just five great cities to explore. With a little research, you may find that your own city likely comes with a variety of outdoor opportunities. Head to your nearest outdoor store, or to a Parks and Recreation website, to learn more.


AustinTex.gov. (2015). Zilker Metropolitan Park. http://www.austintexas.gov/department/zilker-metropolitan-park

Denver.org. (2015). Denver’s Outdoor Adventures. http://www.denver.org/things-to-do/denver-attractions/aspen-gold-near-denver

Forest Park Conservancy. (2015). Experience Forest Park. http://www.forestparkconservancy.org/forest-park

Mass.gov. (2015). Blue Hills Reservation. http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-south/blue-hills-reservation.html

Reviewed September 15, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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