Unique Ways to Exercise on Cape Cod

If there is one place where having a beach body is a plus, it’s the beach capitol of Massachusetts.

Whatever your body type, exercise is good for your health and can actually be fun here on the Cape.

The trick is to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and natural resources available throughout the region. These ideas will make you want to forget you ever signed up for a gym membership.

We broke them up into different areas of the body so you can decide what needs working out and what needs a rest day. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and a protein shake!


Let’s start off with some activities which will keep you in good shape overall. It is important get some cardio in at least three days a week if your goal is to maintain your current figure, depending on your current fitness level. Always consult a physician before attempting any routine!

  • Bike Paths – There are excellent bike paths throughout the Cape, from the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth to the Cape Cod Rail Trail in South Dennis. For a basic cardio exercise you can keep up with, try any path that is relatively flat and paved.
  • Hiking – If you hike them at a brisk pace, there are plenty of hiking spots on the Cape which will be both challenging and visually rewarding.
  • Climb the Towers – There are two towers – Scargo in Dennis and the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown – which offer both amazing views and a challenging climb. Your heart will be pumping, both from exercise and the excitement of seeing things from up high!
  • Swimming – A simple solution to your “can’t get off the couch” woes – but one that is easy to overlook! Be it at the beach or in a public pool, this is a supremely cost-efficient means of keeping in shape, doggy paddle, breast stroke or mixed.
  • Tennis – There are many tennis courts open for public use here. Even if you’re not great at the sport, running around the court will surely provide a joint-friendly workout.


Never skip leg day! Here are some activities to tone those tree trunks, from the calves all the way up to the gluteus maximus.

  • Offroad Biking – While biking is excellent for cardio in general, if you really want to work those legs you’ll have to try mountain biking. And although there are no true mountains on Cape Cod, you’ll find plenty of challenging off road paths. Start off at the Badlands Trails in Yarmouth, or Beebe Woods in Falmouth.
  • Rollerblading – You’ll really feel it in your calves after strapping on some skates and pushing yourself through a loop by the canal. The canal trail is 14 miles of scenic bliss, so no excuses!
  • Ice Skating – Community centers throughout the Cape often have a four-season rink. What better way to cool down while working out, simultaneously?
  • Sand Sprinting – Next time you’re at the beach, try sprinting a few times from your beach towel to the shoreline and back again. The sand provides resistance training for your calves and hamstrings. Paired with some swimming, you’ll have earned an ice cream.
  • Go Trampolining – Although this option has a bit more inherent kitsch, it can double as an excellent leg exercise AND a place to bring the kids. Trampoline parks are especially popular in Yarmouth.


Seeking to buff up those biceps? Have a pair of forgotten forearms? Try these quintessentially Cape Cod activities which are too much fun to be labeled “exercise.”

  • Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) & Canoeing – A trinity of paddle sports awaits you on the Cape. Whether you rent the boats or bring your own, it’ll still be cheaper than a gym membership. Try the Bass River in Yarmouth/Dennis for kayaking, Town Neck Beach in Sandwich for SUP and Orleans’ ponds and rivers for canoes.
  • Water Skiing – With the rise of paddlesports, it seems sports involving a powerboat have fallen by the wayside. But if you really want to feel the burn in your arms, you have to try water skiing.
  • Curling – This one may come as a bit of a surprise, but the Cape is home to an excellent curling team in Falmouth. They’re always looking for more players, so give it a try if you’re fond of bocce or shuffleboard!
  • Bowling – This one only counts if you’re using 10-pin, since candlepin bowling is just a little too lightweight.



Because those pecs aren’t going to work themselves!

  • Kiteboarding – As you can see in this video, kiteboarding the shorelines of Cape Cod is an exhilarating way to take advantage of the wind and waves along the Outer Cape and ocean-facing beaches. The upward pulling motion will put your chest strength to the test!
  • Volleyball – Reach up high for the spike! You’re working out those pecs and dominating the sand while you’re at it.
  • Hedge Trimming – So you’ve got some chores to do – remember to do it the old fashioned way with a pair of handheld clippers. Keep them perpendicular to your body at chest height for a workout you’ll not soon forget!


If you’re not too tired yet, try out these activities to get that back in shape.

  • Windsurfing – Holding on to and steering the bar on a windsurfing rig is excellent back training.
  • Yardwork, with a Wheelbarrow – Never underestimate the power of landscaping. Need a new layer of mulch to beautify your bushes and trees? Lift up that wheelbarrow and get to work. But remember, lift with the knees and use a back-brace.

As with all things these days, call ahead or go online to make sure the trail, path, beach or organization you’re interested in is open. Have fun!



  1. Great article! For anyone living in New England we’ve launched a website for kiteboarders to chat and get live wind conditions for top beaches in Boston and the Cape. Check it out here: http://www.kite.chat

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