The temperatures are rising and so should your motivation to shake off the winter and get active again. Crisp mornings, butterflies flitting, and birds chirping provide the perfect backdrop for a workout venue—the great outdoors. In addition to the change of scenery, there are specific benefits you can get from exercising outdoors that you can’t get from working out indoors. For example, wind resistance can help you burn more calories. Rougher outdoor terrains can challenge your body more. And a study by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, found that participants who exercised outdoors experienced increased energy and revitalization, as well as decreased confusion, anger, depression, and tension, compared with those participants who exercised indoors. Not to mention, exercising outdoors can save you the cost of a gym membership or class fees. Here are some ideas to get you out of that stale, stuffy gym or studio this spring.
Trade the treadmill for some real terrain.
Feel like a hamster on wheel, staring at a muted TV or a blank wall when you hit the treadmill, on an endless journey? Take advantage of the improving weather and run on uneven terrain or pavement in a park or hiking trail to challenge your leg muscles. You might even improve your balance on the uneven surfaces. You’ll definitely have more to look at. Find more on the pros and cons of the treadmill here.
Unroll that yoga mat in the grass.
Take your yoga practice to the park for a truly mindful experience. Since much of practicing yoga is all about the breathing, doesn’t it make sense that inhaling all that fresh air would boost your oxygen levels, which increases your energy?
Swap out the stair climber for some real steps.
Don’t let the concrete and skyscrapers bring you down. There are just as many outdoor exercise options for you city dwellers who aren’t fortunate enough to have nearby hiking trails. Stair climbing is a great way to get in a fun, outdoor workout, especially if you live in a hilly city. Get your heart rate up, your calf muscles pumped, and take in the panoramic views of nature.
Looking for something out of the typical gym workout that you can do outdoors? Take advantage of local lakes, rivers, or the beach if you’re so lucky, and make kayaking, paddle boarding, or surfing your daily workout. Take advantage of this beautiful time of year to try something new, free your mind, improve your health, soak up the vitamin D, and get some fresh air.