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A Breath of Fresh Air: Outdoor exercise is having a moment

A Breath of Fresh Air: Outdoor exercise is having a moment

Sarah Sole

Getting a workout in is somehow so much easier when the sky is blue with cotton candy clouds and you feel that sun on your skin. And it appears that more of us are embracing it: According to ACSM, outdoor activities ranked no. 13 in their 2020 survey of top fitness trends before skyrocketing to no. 4 for 2021. 

The shift was felt on a local level as well.

Bryana Ross, health and wellness manager for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, said that residents have been looking to city parks more than ever before because of the pandemic, and using them in new ways. 

“This really allowed us to shine,” Ross said. 


The most popular fitness activities? Using park trails for walking, running, and biking. 

Last year especially, Columbus residents turned to the trails to get in virtual half- and full marathons after so many were cancelled out of concern for pandemic safety, Ross said. 

Bike riding has also experienced a recent boost in popularity. 

“I think it has actually blown up tremendously,” Ross said. 

Alum Creek Trail’s major hub is within Three Creeks Metro Park, Ross said. The trail goes north through the Bexley area, and extends into the Polaris area. The Olentangy Trail, meanwhile, takes riders from Worthington to Antrum and Tuttle Parks into the OSU campus area and beyond, to downtown, where it meets the Scioto Trail, which in turn proceeds a big south toward Audubon Park.

As part of the cover section in 614 Magazine’s April issue, we took a look at the top exercises from around the world, as listed in ACSM Health & Fitness Journal’s 2021 survey of worldwide fitness trendsTo learn more about the fifth most popular exercise trend for 2021, click here.


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