With all of the turkey, pie, and holiday cheer coming your way, it’s definitely the time to indulge, but it can also be tough to keep up your workout routine. Switch things up this season and get outside for a self-guided workout geared towards keeping up your fitness level and getting fresh air. Go ahead, get outdoors and get your body moving this holiday season with these awesome outdoor self-guided workouts.

Work out Safely

Always be sure to stretch properly before beginning any workout. Try to pick an outdoor space where you will not be disrupting others on the trail. Always check weather and trail conditions so you have the proper gear prior to heading outdoors. Lastly, remember to listen to your body. Don’t over-exert yourself as this could cause an injury.

1. Hit the Trail with this HIIT Workout

HIIT, or high intensity interval training workouts, are designed to be done at a fast pace. The quick intervals burn those calories quickly so you can spend less time working out and more time enjoying the scenery. Combine a HIIT workout on your favorite trail for double duty. Use a trail that has some clear space, so you have room to move.

Running Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs - OutThere Colorado
Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs.

Do each activity for 45 seconds as hard as you can with a 15 second rest in between. Repeat three times.

  • Push-ups (if the trail is muddy or snowy, bring a foam pad to cushion your hands)
  • Squats
  • Butt Kicks
  • Tricep Dips (using a sturdy log or bench position your hands shoulder width apart, slide your butt in front of the bench with your legs stretched out and your weight on your arms. Straighten and dip your arms, allowing your butt to almost touch the ground. Repeat the movement)
  • Side Lunges (keep your hands on your hips and take a large step to the side, lunging on your outward foot until your knee is bent at 90 degrees. Repeat with the opposite side.)

Recommended Destination: Head to one of the many wide trails at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Enjoy the stunning rock formations in between sets.

2. Head Outside for a Yoga Practice

Hosting the holidays this year? Ditch the stress with some outdoor yoga practice. Pick a quieter trail with a feature, such as a lake or vista. Rejuvenate your spirit with this ten-minute yoga practice. If the area is snowy or cold, bring along a sleeping pad to insulate you from the ground.

  • Start with Mountain Pose
  • Raise your arms and clasp them over your head, reaching towards the sky. Look upwards for an added stretch with the Urdhava Hastasana Pose.
  • Move to Warrior I
  • From Warrior I transition to Warrior II
  • Next, slide into Triangle Pose
  • Bend backwards to Extended Side Angle
  • Relieve stress in your back and legs with Downward Dog
  • From Downward Dog bend to the Forearm Plank
  • Next, move to Baby Cobra
  • Counter stretch with Child’s Pose

Hold each of these poses for eight breaths. Feel free to repeat the routine.

Recommended Destination: Golden Gate State Park has several great trails to choose from, with lots of views and small lakes.

3. Get Your Heart Pumping with an Outdoor Tempo Run

In Colorado, running is a four-season sport. After the celebrations hit your favorite trail, get your heart rate moving, and those calories burning. Start this 40-minute workout with a gentle, three-minute warmup. Up the intensity by running hard for five minutes, then slow the pace for three. Repeat this process five time. Always remember to end each run with a good cool down and stretch to avoid lactate buildup in your legs. If trails are snowy, be sure to wear proper traction before heading out.

Alt Text
A runner tackles some Colorado snow.

Suggested Destination: Mesa Trail in Boulder. 13.4 miles and 3,250 vertical feet of fun offer everything from wide open views of the Flatirons to enchanting pine forests.

4. Hit the Road with a Challenging Road Cycle

On those wonderfully mild, late fall Colorado days, you can still get out on the road and enjoy some sunshine. Challenge your riding skills this holiday with a cycle up one of the many hill climbs in the Front Range. The uphill battle will certainly work out your legs and raise that heart rate for some serious post-meal burn. Weather for road biking this time of year can be hit or miss, so be sure to check road conditions before heading out on your ride.

Road biking 3 - Vail Pass - Vail Colorado - OutThere Colorado
Reaching the top of Vail Pass on a road bike. Vail, Colorado. Photo Credit: OutThere Colorado.

Suggested Destination: Lookout Mountain in Golden. You can tackle this ride starting either from Denver (39.9 miles) or Golden (9.2 miles). It’s a challenging route with over 1,200’ of elevation gain starting from Golden.

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