It is outdoor time…finally! There are so many more workout options and the scenery is great. After being cooped up indoors all winter, it’s so freeing to be outside. The key to staying active is to make the most of your time and your environment. Walk, run or play, it all counts.
You can walk just about anywhere. Even a few extra steps make a big difference over the course of a day or week.
Change it up. Look for the parking spot farthest away from your destination. I love finding a parking spot close to where I’m going; but I started thinking about why I care so much about not having to walk. I go to the gym to get extra steps so why would I avoid it in real life? Your parking lot steps will add up.
Shopping Bag Curls
And, for extra benefits, try a few bicep curls or arm raises with your bags on the way back to your car. Better yet, don’t drive when you can walk to shop. You can always make the choice to be more active.
It doesn’t seem like such a big deal to take the escalator instead of the stairs. Still, add up this decision over the years and you’re missing out on a lot of beneficial steps. Same goes for elevators. Every step counts! One of my clients walks up flights of stairs (two steps at a time) for 10 minutes on her lunch break every day and she has seen her body changing and a big energy boost!
One of the hardest parts of adjusting to an exercise program is fitting it in your day. Try scheduling a walk with a dog at least two times per week for 20 minutes. If you don’t own a pet, offer to help out a neighbor.
Try switching up your workouts to avoid boredom. Just doing your lunges in the outdoors with plenty of scenic views creates an entirely different atmosphere. As long as you keep your mind stimulated, you will be less likely to skip your workouts.
Path Less Travelled
Try downloading a hiking trail app or just go exploring on your own.
How do you feel about running? I go through stages with it. Sometimes I’ll just be in the mood to run and then it snowballs into a 3 times per week event, and then I won’t feel like it for a while. I hope I get back in the groove of it again because it’s pretty rejuvenating to exercise outside.
If you hate long distance running like I do, try running at a moderate pace for 15 minutes and then turn around and do intervals on the way back. They can be as long as you want. Just pick a point (like a house or building) and sprint to it. Then stop and walk for a minute or two. Repeat until you’re back. It burns way more calories than just distance running and it’s not as boring!
If you have limited time and need to get some cardio in try hill running outside. Run to the top at a challenging pace, walk back down and repeat 5 times. This type of cardio keeps your metabolism high for hours!
Even adults can make outdoor play a priority. Not only can it increase fitness levels, being outdoors gives you an energy surge from natural vitamin D and raises mood-boosting serotonin levels.
At my parents’ home in NJ, they have a basketball hoop, but until recently it was just a decoration because they didn’t have a ball. So on a recent visit I decided to take some initiative. I not only bought them a ball, I inflated it myself. Shooting hoops is now a fun way to fit in some activity when I visit and move around with my family.
Swing and a Miss
Neither golf or tennis are my sports, but I still have a great time trying something new. Even if you miss a lot in tennis, you’ll still get a real workout running after all the balls. And, if you’re like me in golf, try playing “best ball” so you get plenty of help from your friends.
The sand is difficult to run in and makes you burn way more calories! Just pick two points like the lifeguard stands or trash cans. Start at one point and sprint through the sand to the next point. Rest 20 seconds and sprint back. Do 25 jumping jacks. Rest for a minute. Repeat 3-5 times.
I don’t like doing a million laps so this is what I do when I get the chance to swim outside. Sprint 2 laps as fast as you can. Rest for 45 seconds. Sprint 2 more laps (change to breaststroke if you know it). Rest again. Run 1 lap in the shallow end of the pool. Repeat 3 times.
Back to Nature Yoga
Stretching and mindfulness is just as important as cardio and weights. Wherever you are, you can find a place to practice being mindful and in the moment. Yoga helps clear your mind and makes you more productive!