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Stay fit this summer without stepping into the gym

With extra daylight hours and no classes to study for, summer is a great time to try new types of workouts or get into a fitness routine. If you’re staying on campus over the summer and want to stay in shape or start your fitness journey but balk at the $82 price tag on the summer pass for campus gyms, I’ve rounded up some of the best ways to get fit and stay fit throughout the summer months.

Rock Climbing and Obstacle Course at Scioto-Audubon

400 W. Whittier St, Columbus, Ohio

Whether you’ve never set hand nor foot on a climbing wall or haven’t been on the rocks for years, the outdoor climbing wall at the Scioto-Audubon Metro Park is a great way to improve climbing skills and build endurance and strength at the same time. While the park doesn’t offer equipment rentals, there are auto-belays, routes you can use if you bring your own rope and a climbing cave that can be used even without a harness and shoes.

If you’re afraid of heights, Scioto-Audubon also has a rotary obstacle course for anyone interested in building strength and endurance on the ground. The course features a tire run and flip, several ways to climb and crawl, balance beams, monkey bars and a log run. If you want a break from climbing or obstacle courses, the park also has plenty of hiking trails.

For more information on park activities, visit: http://www.metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/scioto-audubon/

Hiking Trails at Glen Echo Park

510 Cliffside Dr, Columbus, Ohio

The Glen Echo ravine, located north of campus in Clintonville, is hidden gem that I recently discovered. There are a variety of scenic trails that are accessible throughout the park. Spending a few hours here hiking is great for cardiovascular health and is an easy way to enjoy nature, even in the middle of the city. Just don’t forget water and bug spray.

For more information on park activities, visit: https://www.columbus.gov/recreationandparks/parks/Glen-Echo-Park/

Summit Vision

8111 Schott Rd, Westerville, Ohio

Located in the beautiful Walnut Bluffs property of Columbus’ selection of parks, Summit Vision offers visitors two ropes courses to choose from and a climbing tower that can accommodate up to 120 participants at time. If you’re looking for an adventure, one of the park’s ropes courses ends with a dual zipline, while the other ends with dual giant swings. The park also offers fitness programs throughout the summer, including alpha warrior workouts, yoga, trail running and rope course fitness.

For more information, visit: http://summit-vision.com/wp/

Walking, Running and Biking

Clear skies and warm weather are a sign that it’s the best time of the year to forgo driving in favor of walking. Walking is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the environment and your wallet since you’ll save money on gas. If you’re interested in tracking your steps throughout the day, and maybe setting a goal for the number of steps you want to take every day, apps like Stepz, Walker and Pacer can do just that.

If you’re anything like me, the thought of running is intimidating, despite being a great way to get into and stay in shape. The summer months are a great time to start running though, especially if you can drag yourself out of bed and lace up your shoes in the morning while it’s still cool outside. If you’ve tried running before but have been unable to stick with it, I’ve been there too. Thankfully there are several apps you can use to help ease into a running routine and stay on track. Couch to 5K and Nike+ Running are apps that I have used in the past to create and keep track of my runs.

Biking is another great way to get exercise while commuting, plus it’s also better for the environment than driving. If you don’t own a bike and don’t want to shell out too much of your summer income for one, there’s Dandy Bikes. It sells used bikes, and it’s just a couple of blocks north of campus. The Third Hand Bike Co-Op also sells used bikes, and if you become a member, you can get $10 in store credit for each hour you volunteer with them, which can be used for up to 75 percent off the cost of a bike. Another great resource is Craigslist, which is where I found my bike several years ago, and it’s gotten me around campus for many miles since.

Blogilates (and other online workouts)

One of my favorite online workout bloggers is Cassey Ho, who runs the Blogilates YouTube page. Her videos helped me get in shape the summer before coming to Ohio State, and the best part was that I didn’t need any equipment to do her workouts. There are countless other workout video archives online that can offer everything from boxing to dancing to high intensity interval training, or HIIT, which is a type of cardio workout comprised of short bursts of hard work. Just find something that you think you’ll enjoy and give it a shot, you might even find a love for a workout that isn’t offered on campus.

Free Yoga

3901 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State offers yoga classes over the summer that are included with the summer fitness pass, but you can still find ways to practice your asanas without it. Free yoga classes are offered at the Whetstone Park of Roses every week, just show up with a mat to participate!

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1288605654586202/

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