It can be difficult to get outdoors for exercise, especially if you live in a smog-laden, busy city - difficult, but not impossible. Here are some quick tips for getting out more if you live in the metro area:
-----Put on some headphones and listen to relaxing music or nature sounds while walking or doing other exercise outdoors to tune out the chaotic noise of the city.
-----Avoid strenuous exercise like running if you live in an area affected by pollution and smog. Walk, do yoga, lift weights, or do more gentle exercise instead.
-----Drink lots of water.
-----Meditate as you work out. Learn techniques that will allow you to focus and tune out distractions. Breathing exercises, counting breaths, repeating a mantra, and other common meditation methods can all be helpful.
-----Plan a retreat or a day for driving someplace outside the city to enjoy the clean air, silence, and natural atmosphere. You'll feel refreshed afterward, guaranteed.
You forgot one of the key ways to lose weight and get exercise in a big city - run your errands on foot or bicycle (for the love of all that is sacred, wear a helmet if you ride a bike in a busy city. And BE CAREFUL!)
I have found that days that I have to do things like go to the bank or post office, it's effective to combine the errand with a run or walk. That way, I'm not wasting time stuck in traffic and I squeeze a work-out in, too.
Just remember to always be safe. If you plan to walk/run/ride at night to avoid larger crowds-this goes for the suburbs as much as in the cities-bring a cell phone along, and try your best to stay in an area where you know there's reception.
If you know the residents in the area you're exercising in, even better. And the best situation, I think? Having an workout buddy!
I second Kristen. I think all your tips are great but it's always crucial to be aware of your surroundings at all times. I live in the city and if I go out to exercise, I always try to make sure I do it before dark. :)
If you live in a city like San Francisco, which is full of green enclaves and public parks, those can also be great places to retreat to if you don't have the time to get outside the city.