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Gym rats hate this time of year. Health clubs and gyms are flooded with people who’ve made their new year’s resolutions to get fit. Most of the newbies will be gone in a few weeks, so things will get back to normal. But if you’re really serious about your health and getting in shape this year, you don’t necessarily need a gym to do it.

Austin is known as a fit city, and a big part of earning this reputation has been the many outdoor activities you can do to stay in shape. Here are 10 ideas for workouts to keep you from annoying the guys grunting at themselves in full length mirrors.

10.) Power walking at your favorite mall

Photo: Flickr user Avinash Kumar, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Avinash Kumar, creative commons licensed.

We’ve all seen them. They wear their pastel and neon track suits as they breeze by each store. Power walkers may be few and far between, but they’re out there. And you can be one, too. Just pick your favorite mall like Barton Creek Square, The Domain, Hill Country Galleria or Round Rock Premium Outlets, and get those legs moving and arms pumping. Track suits are optional.

9.) Tennis, anyone?

Photo: Flickr user Stuart Seeger, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Stuart Seeger, creative commons licensed.

Austin has several tennis leagues and plenty of great courts to hone your kick serve, drop shot and overhead slam skills. All you need is a partner, and you can rally for hours on end for a great cardio workout. Check out the map below for the locations of Austin’s public tennis courts. Or, for more serious entrants, there’s the Austin Tennis League. Have fun!

8.) Traveling your neighborhood on foot

Photo: Flickr user SurFeRGiRL30, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user SurFeRGiRL30, creative commons licensed.

You may think you know your neighborhood, but if you only see it from behind your windshield, you’re missing out. Take some time to walk through your neighborhood. You’ll meet your neighbors and gain new perspectives on the little part of town you call home.

7.) Jogging on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

Photo: Flickr user edris safari, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user edris safari, creative commons licensed.

The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a gathering point for Austin’s fitness fanatics. However, you don’t have to be a world class athlete to enjoy this trail. Walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists all “share the road” that lines the north and south shores of Lady Bird Lake. Jogging will get your heart rate up and will give you a bit of confidence passing the walkers. You’ll get passed, too, but you won’t be the slowest person on the trail.

6.) Cycling up and down West Austin’s hills

Photo: Flickr user megan ann, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user megan ann, creative commons licensed.

Cycling is big in Austin. Despite Lance Armstrong’s sharp decline in popularity, his sport remains an activity many Austinites love to do. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you can find a good number of cyclists rolling up and down the hills of west Austin. If you join them, watch out for vehicles because the hills can obscure cyclists and drivers from one another.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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