Spring is a great opportunity for a fresh fitness start. It’s time to take things to the great outdoors, where there are endless opportunities to add variety to your workouts. With winter behind you, being outdoors brings the opportunity for better air quality, increased vitamin D production, diminishing symptoms that go along with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and a better mood and better health.
Here are 10 ways to spring clean your fitness, and utilize the great outdoors:
1. Go for a run
Treadmills are great, but running outdoors is better.One of the best tips in pursuing a sustainable program for running is that running needs to be enjoyable. Finding a spot (or spots) where you receive enjoyment from the surrounding beauty can keep you motivated.
2. Search for stairs
Stairs are wonderfully challenging on so many levels (no pun intended.).They provide a great opportunity to do some general endurance training (think hike).Stairs also can create an opportunity for some challenging metabolic conditioning (think ascending quickly).Experiment with the work/rest ratios on the stairs.Experiment with distances, and the times taken to travel those distances.
3. Try Pushups on the hill
Sprinting up a short hill can be a great workout.Similarly, pacing oneself up a longer hill can be great workout too.What if the plan was to incorporate some hill training with the classic push-up?Hills create a natural environment to become better at this classic.If hands are placed on the downhill of a slope, this increases the difficulty of the push-up.If hands are placed on the uphill of a slope, the push-up becomes a little bit easier. Planning to complete 3 sets of hills/push-ups is a great place to start.Run to the top of the hill, drop and do a set of push-ups (with your hands on either the downhill or the uphill, depending on your level of push-up awesomeness).
4. Find a good outdoor class
Not all outdoor classes are created equally, so be sure to take some time to find an excellent one, appropriate to your fitness level.Remember that not all trainers are created equally either, so be sure to do your homework to find out who’s going to be guiding you through your outdoor class.
5. Visit the local playground.
This is your chance to feel like a kid again! Monkey bars are a great spot for some pull-ups, or some hanging leg raises.If you look carefully enough, every playground presents the opportunity to lunge, squat, rotate, plank, bridge, jump, push, pull, and play.There are opportunities for gaining strength, developing capacity for cardio, burning fat, you name it!
6. Go to an actual outdoor gym
A lot of cities have outdoor gyms with suggested workouts and explanations for how to use the equipment.Get to this gym!Drive there, cycle there, run there, walk there, get there!
7. Join an outdoor league
We dare you to join an Ultimate Frisbee League.A sport like this can get the heart working better as you pursue fitness in a fun, competitive, recreational manner.
8. Hit the pool
It’s so fun, you’ll forget it’s also a workout!
9. See the forest
More and more, people are using trees in their local parks to dangle some suspension training system (TRX), or to wrap some bands around for some resistance, or to simply do primal pull-ups.
10. Cycle everywhere
Some people count the seconds until spring has sprung so that they can get on their bike in the great outdoors.Often these people have a zest for life that is unmatched!Cycling is a great way to get fit, and have fun while doing it.Cycle to work!Cycle with friends!Cycle for fun!