Although spring hasn’t quite sprung yet, the increasing sunlight and hint at warmer temps have many people looking forward to more time spent outdoors. This is the perfect time of the year to get re-energized or re-inspired to focus on fitness – and there are so many fun ways to do so.
Tired of heading to the gym day after day? Bored with your treadmill? Just looking for a reason to breathe in some fresh air while you fit in some fitness? If you’re looking for some ideas to jump-start your fitness routine and change things up when you want to work out, dress for the weather, head outside and try one of these fun outdoor activities:
Play at the Park
Ever notice those contraptions set up along park trails or near school yards that look a bit like an outdoor gym and have you yearning to play like a kid again? Outdoor fitness parks are the perfect way to get in a full-body workout while enjoying the fresh air. You may find equipment like balance beams, chin-up bars, parallel bars, push-up bars, wobble boards and hurdles.
If there’s not a workout station in a park near you, a playground will do. Start by warming up with a brisk walk or light jog for 5 – 10 minutes. Then go through a circuit of body-weight exercises. You’ll most likely be able to do pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, dips, box jumps and more. There’s also plenty you can do with no equipment needed, such as squats, burpees or planks, to round out your workout.
Take a Hike
Tired of going nowhere as you log miles on your treadmill? Bored with the same old walk around the block? Get off the beaten trail to connect with nature and challenge your body. Hiking, with its changing terrain and varying pace, provides a new set of physical challenges. It can also help you reduce stress, boost your mood and heighten your focus.
You’ll work muscles that don’t often get used and immerse yourself in new sights and sounds. Be sure to choose a trail that’s appropriate for your fitness level, plan out your route and bring someone along so you’re not alone.
Hoop It Up
Think hula hooping is just for kids? Think again! This child-like pastime can be a great way to burn calories, improve flexibility, sculpt your body and rev your heart rate. All you need is a hula hoop and some space and you’re ready to go.
Make sure the hoop is the right size by standing it on its edge from the ground – the hoop should fall between your waist and your chest. The larger the hoop, the easier it will be to keep it moving. Not only can you swing the hoop in circles around your midsection, but you can use the hoop to work muscles in almost any part of your body.
Try exercises such as arm circles, halos, dips and lunges using the hula hoop. You can even try walking or dancing while keeping the hoop moving or jump through the hoop for a more advance workout.