Huntsville State Park – Great for Outdoor Cardio
Huntstville State Park: Great for Outdoor Cardio
An online personal trainer recommending an outdoor workout? Have I gone mad?!
I don't think so...
Even though Fit Armadillo® personal training sessions are completed online, my real passion is helping you find ways to make fitness a part of your lifestyle instead of something you only do at the gym.
A big part of that is meeting you in your home (or hotel room, heck - anywhere your busy life takes you and you have internet!) to help you tone up via live video chat.
While other people waste hundreds of dollars a year on gym memberships ($800 is average) they don't use, savvy Fit Armadillo clients enjoy customized strength training workouts that help them save time and money.
But even though some clients enjoy 1-on-1 online cardio workouts with the Fit Armadillo team, these are usually interval training sessions that aren't recommended more than 2x a week. That means most clients enjoy the bulk of their cardio (heart-pumping) workouts outside.
Waaaay more fun than sweating it out on a treadmill to nowhere and all part of my plan to help you make fitness a part of your lifestyle.
Because when you take your workout outside of the gym you'll enjoy it AND life more!
Ditching the Dreadmill for a State Park
If you are still a gym member, I'm willing to bet most of your time isn't spent using their expensive strength training equipment, but on the treadmill.
While a treadmill itself isn't bad, it can be boring.
And it definitely doesn't let you enjoy the great outdoors and the many benefits of sweating in nature. Not to mention, if you're only using your gym membership to use the treadmill, it's far from cost effective.
A better option? A membership to your state parks!
Recently, the Fit Armadillo family became owners of a shiny new Texas State Parks pass and we've been having a blast enjoying our cardio outdoors on the weekends.
I highly encourage you to do the same even if you don't live in Texas.
At just $70 for the cardholder for one year, a Texas States Parks and Wildlife Pass is a pretty sweet deal.
Pack as many friends and family into your car and you can all get in for free the rest of year. Not to mention you'll be supporting conservation efforts!
So far this year we've enjoyed biking around Brazos Bend State Park and more recently, Huntsville State Park in you guessed it - Huntsville, Texas!
Below, I've shared some tips from our most recent trip to inspire you to enjoy your own cardio workout in the great outdoors!
Our Huntsville State Park Adventure:
We got a little bit of a late start to Huntsville State Park, which is 65 miles from our home in Houston, Texas.
As part of his "lazy Sunday workout plan", Mr. Fit Armadillo packed flip flops as biking shoes. Both of us only own road bikes at the moment. These two factors combined with a failure to ask for directions, and my love for conquering long distances led us to head out on Dogwood Trail and Chinquapin Trail and end up getting a little more than we bargained for that day.
While we enjoyed a wonderful 11+ mile bike ride, we'd recommend a different plan of action if you choose to visit Huntsville State Park.
Namely: Wearing sneakers and bringing a road bike OR opting for a hike or jog along the trails instead.
Chinquapin Trail is very sandy and when it's not, it's covered in a lot of pine roots! We had to turn around when it merged with the Triple C trail as it also started getting swampy and there was some trail construction in progress.
To sum: We moved slower than our trail running peers, but it was worth it!
Take a look at the beautiful forest scene on the right of that picture - super serene and peaceful!
Yes, this biking workout was a lot more challenging than we had anticipated, but it was still a lot of fun even if most of the laughs came at our own expense!
If you're casual bikers like Mr. Fit Armadillo and I, I'd recommend taking the trek to Huntsville, but focusing on the other benefits of the park.
For example, it's a great place for running and hiking. Additionally, there's a nice lake where you can swim (another great option for outdoor cardio) or rent several types of boats (including paddle boats!-I'm totally doing this to relive my childhood on our next visit).
If you have a road bike, don't despair!
Brazos Bend is a great Texas State Park that's road bike friendly. Plus, you'll get to see lots of alligators (which might just help you keep your workout motivation).
Have you visited a local state park lately? What's your favorite way to enjoy cardio outside? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: