Change is a huge part of exercise and summer is the perfect time to change things up! Making changes to your routine will surprise your body forcing it to adapt to these new workouts, so why not take your cardio outside?

Some ideas for getting the most of your cardio outdoors:
Take it to the track: Instead of running on the treadmill for 45 minutes, try going to the track. Run the bleachers or do a combination workout with lunges, jogging, plyometrics (any exercise where the muscle is stretched before it’s contracted) and sprint work. Changing your pace and doing intervals is a much better way to do your cardio!

Try rollerblading: You don’t see many people pull the rollerblades out of the closet anymore, but rollerblading is a great alternative for fun – even with the family – while getting exercise in! Rollerblading is a fantastic way to do cardio that’s great for your legs and works up a sweat.

Go for a bike ride: Take the bikes on the levee for a ride down to the zoo. Again, a bike ride is a family-friendly type of cardiovascular exercise that’s fun for everyone. It is a great way to get in good cardio while still watching the kids and enjoying family time.

Take the dog for a walk in the park or take the kids to the park: Walking in the park, especially in New Orleans heat, can definitely work up a sweat. Walking is a great way to enjoy your cardio and enjoy the scenery around you. Just remember to stay hydrated!

Look into local outdoor classes taught by personal trainers: There are tons of trainers who love to takes groups outdoors and organize fun workouts. Ask around at local gyms or your friends. There are many classes taught at several parks in the area that serve for fun group workouts that help keep you motivated.

Take a swim: This is a great alternative to keep your cool while you exercise! Swimming is great cardiovascular exercise and is easier on the body as well. This is a wonderful alternative for people who have joint problems or arthritis. There are tons of things you can do in the pool besides swim laps – get a kickboard or some other water aerobics equipment.

Because of the heat, try going at night or early in the morning. Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated before and after. Remember to eat balanced meals and enjoy the exercise. Getting friends or family together to do the activities together will make it fun and healthy for everyone!