Boston is long-heralded as one of the most walkable cities in America, and with plenty of options for fun outdoor activities–from paddling a swan boat to following the Freedom Trail on foot, it’s also an awesome place to stay physically fit, too. Of course, hitting the gym is easy to do in Beantown, but bringing your fitness routine outside every now and then may be beneficial for more than just the fresh air. Why? For one thing, an outdoor workout is great to do with a bunch of friends, especially if you don’t all go to the same gym. Plus, it’s a free and fit way to get out and enjoy the beautiful city. It’s also easy enough to bring some of your own portable fitness equipment along (think jump rope, kettlebell, or weighted sand bag) for an extra gym-on-the-go kick. As an added benefit: when you’re done with your workout, you’ll be a mere walking distance from some of the city’s favorite shopping and dining establishments, from Harvard Square to the North End. But where to start? Read on to learn about some favorite workout hotspots in New England’s largest city.
Top 5 Outdoor Workout Spots In Boston
For the more adventurous fitness fans, head on over to South Boston’s Castle Island (yes, you can drive there) for a day of sightseeing and sweating. The popular Boston Harbor destination is complete with a 1.84-mile loop around Pleasure Bay that takes you right past the stunning Fort Independence (built in the 1830s!). Stop anywhere along the “Healthy Heart Trail” to drop and do some push-ups, squats, mountain climbers, and lunges.
A must for any tourist, the Common is a Beantown staple for running, walking, and simply enjoying the great views of the city. Are you a “buff” movie buff? Try finding the famous bench featured in Good Will Hunting and use it to do a few dips or push-ups! If you come here for a workout, just remember to bring plenty of snacks and water, because chances are good you’ll want to stay for a while and explore (nearby sights include the Boston Public Garden, Newbury Street, and Beacon Hill).
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Anywhere along this gorgeous riverside walkway is perfect for getting in a daily jog, walk, or bike ride. It’s definitely not unusual to pass someone on roller blades or a recumbent road bike, either. For a great spot to do some bodyweight movements and strength training, stop by the Soldier’s Field Playground, located in the section of the Esplanade running directly behind Boston University (accessible via the Silber Way footbridge). This newly renovated outdoor gym boasts plenty of poles, structures, and even rubberized flooring for pull-ups, push-ups, inverted rows, squats, lunges, stretches, or even just a quick breather before you heading back out on your run.
Further west along the Esplanade and still on the Boston side of the Charles, you’ll come across Harvard University’s outdoor track. This is a great place to get in some sprint intervals or serious (and measured) mileage. The outdoor facility is open to the public seasonally, but be aware that it does close during sanctioned practices for the Harvard athletic teams.
Toward the southern outskirts of Boston, you’ll find Jamaica Pond tucked away in the funky Jamaica Plain neighborhood. As a part of the famed “Emerald Necklace” (a string of connected parkways and waterways that winds through the city), Jamaica Pond has a great 1.5-mile paved loop for a gorgeous run any time of year. Look closely and you may even find a workout structure here or there for sit-ups, push-ups, or stretching. For similar locales, try the incredible Arnold Arboretum in Roslindale or the Chestnut Hill Reservoir near Boston College.
Are you a Bostonian with a favorite outdoor workout spot? Share the locale in the comments section below!