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4 Baltimore locales to get fit under the sun

 Enjoy a clear day of running, walking, biking, or rollerblading around the reservoir at Lake Montebello.
Enjoy a clear day of running, walking, biking, or rollerblading around the reservoir at Lake Montebello.
Vicki T. Lee

Little by little, nature's rising temperatures are getting ready for spring's official March start date, and unlocking the doors for fitness enthusiasts itching to take their workouts outside. While gym workouts get it in and done, a productive walk, run, cycle, or in-line skating session outside, spikes a healthy mindset according to a study about the "healing power of nature."

In other words, the sound of tweets and barks, the feel of the sun warming your skin, as well as the smell and visual appeal of blossoming flowers and lush, green grass all trump the germy gym equipment and the lady sweating onions on the treadmill in front of you. In addition, exercising outside has other benefits:

  • A vitamin D increase for the maximum absorption of calcium is crucial for healthy bones. Exercising outside will ensure that you get your dose of the Sunshine Vitamin.
  • FREE workouts: Invest those gym $$$ into a summer venture.
  • No more worrying about germs: Gym equipment, unless properly wiped down is a hotbed of transferable germs from multi-person use.
  • Change of Scenery: While treadmills and stationary bikes offer great workouts, the only view is a television, magazines, or sweating dripping off the onion lady.
  • Energy spike: On a treadmill, the belt moves your feet regardless of your energy level. Outside, if you want to burn as much energy, your muscles are responsible for moving your feet.

In Baltimore, runners, walkers, bikers and skaters have a variety of venues for an endorphin rush:

Northeast Baltimore

Lake Montebello: a 1.3 mile loop around a body of water and surrounded by trees, grass, an exercise equipment station where smooth asphalt attracts runners, walkers, skaters, and bikers. Enter the loop from the intersection of Harford Road and Chesterfield Avenue or Hillen Road and East 33rd. Beautiful scenery, well used but not too crowded for a good workout.

Southeast Baltimore

Patterson Park: There are plenty of running/walking trails in Patterson Park's main area, as well as Patterson Park East. The park also boasts an athletic field and tennis courts to mix up your outdoors exercise routine.

North Baltimore

Jones Falls Trail: This 4.25 mile trail runs from Penn Station, through Druid Hill Park to Clipper Mill. Runners, walkers and bikers can enjoy the 1.5 miles of trail that loops around the reservoir in Druid Hill Park from dawn to dusk.

West and Southwest Baltimore

Gwynn's Falls Trail: Now this trail extends 15 miles from the I-70 park and ride from I-695 beltway to the Inner Harbor Visitor Center on paved roads suitable for running, walking, skateboarding and rollerblading. Enter the trail from your choice of about 30 neighborhoods and enjoy its amenities from dawn to dusk. Click here to discover all the Gwynn's Falls Trail can offer.

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