Did you know exercising outdoors is great for both your body and your mind? It’s true! Researchers have found that working out in green spaces can improve both mental well-being and markers of physical health. Evidence also suggests that taking your workout outdoors can make exercise more enjoyable and may even make certain types of physical activity feel easier than they do indoors.
At Envision Fitness, our goal is to empower you to achieve your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be. And although we specialize in gym-based personal training, group bootcamp classes, and athletic training, we know getting outside is important for your overall well-being.
If you want to exercise outdoors once in a while, here are four excellent places where you can get a great outdoor workout near Minneapolis.
1. Theodore Wirth Regional Park
Located west of Downtown Minneapolis in Golden Valley, Theodore Wirth Regional Park boasts 740 acres of space, including 83 acres of water, where you can get your outdoor exercise on. Here, you’ll find a 1.35-mile walking and biking path, as well as several other features that can help you get a great workout, including:
- Disc golf course
- Tennis courts
- Golf course
- Soccer field
- Beach volleyball court
- Floating swim dock
You’ll also find a playground/tot lot where you can bring the kids for summertime fun. The Loppet Foundation offers outdoor activity and adventure programs for all ages if you're looking to get the whole family moving together.
If you’re willing to brave the winter weather, you can get an excellent full-body workout on the park’s snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trails. But if you’re more of an adrenaline junky, you might prefer the park’s snowboarding hill, where you can rent gear and hone your technique for bigger slopes!
2. Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park
Situated just a few miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park is a great place to get exercise (and have fun doing it!) outdoors. Here, you’ll find roughly 660 acres of wide-open spaces, two gorgeous lakes, and tons of workout-friendly features, including:
- Walking and biking paths
- Soccer, softball, and baseball fields
- Horseshoe pits
- Cross-country skiing trails
- Tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts
If you need to bring young ones along, the park has a playground, tot lot, and wading pool. You’ll also find a calisthenics exercise station where you can get a great functional training workout in. Enjoy a fun upper-body workout by canoeing or kayaking one of the lakes, or opt for paddleboarding if you want to get some full-body exercise and balance practice on the water.
Want to take your pooch for a stroll? Leashed pets are also welcome here and at most public parks maintained by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
3. Westwood Hills Nature Center
Did you know walking is one of the best (and most underrated) types of exercise you can do? It’s true! Research shows that even low- to moderate-intensity walking can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your cholesterol profile, help control high blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and aid in weight loss. Brisk walking can also improve aerobic capacity in most adults.
If you want to get your stroll on, Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park is the perfect place to do it. This 160-acre natural area boasts a plethora of trails that are open year-round, where you can feast your eyes on beautiful natural habitats while strengthening your ticker.
Check out 6 Things to Know About Exercise & Heart Health to learn more about how beneficial physical activity is for your cardiovascular system and overall health.
4. Bryant Lake Regional Park
Bryant Lake Regional Park sits roughly five miles southwest of Hopkins in Eden Prairie. Here, you’ll find biking and hiking trails, a swimming beach, and a disc golf course, all of which can help you get a great outdoor workout. If you want to bring the kids along for fun in the sun, there’s also playground equipment where young ones can burn off some energy.
Bryant Lake Regional Park also features a fenced-in dog park, where you can let your pup off-leash. If you’re short on free time and want to get some exercise in while you take your pup out to play, check out How to Turn Walking Your Dog Into a Full-Body Workout for some fun ideas!
Get a Free Personal Training Consultation at Envision Fitness
Whether you’re new to fitness or are a seasoned athlete, our team at Envision Fitness would love to help you maximize your potential.
At our Hopkins, MN fitness studio, we offer individualized personal training, athletic training, group bootcamp classes, and nutrition coaching and are committed to empowering you to achieve your health and fitness goals. If you’re looking to join a gym where you’ll actually enjoy working out, come check us out!
To book your free personal training consultation, give us a call today at 952-444-2791 or request a consultation online, and we’ll get in touch!