Spring has arrived, and many of us are now enjoying the warmer weather and longer days. If you have been working out indoors through the cold winter months, you might be starting to think about getting back outside.
We’ve put together a few of our favorite outdoor workouts to inspire you and get you moving this spring.
Running is a classic for a reason, and is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the United States and around the world. Running is cheap (you only need a pair of running shoes and some loose, comfortable clothing), effective, and fun.
If you’ve been jogging or running on a treadmill, you should be able to take your workout outside easily. If you’re new to running, start slowly and move towards longer and harder runs as your endurance increases. A beginner program such as Couch to 5K can help you. If you prefer to exercise with others, look for a local running club.
Want to change up your running routine or challenge yourself? Try hill running, either by tackling a single long hill or finding a shorter hill and running as many repeats as you can. If you like having a specific goal to aim towards, consider signing up for a race.
Swap your stationary bike for the traditional kind and go for a cycle ride. Biking is great fun, especially if you go with your family, a friend, or other members of a cycling club. It also allows you to see some beautiful scenery and explore your local area from a different vantage point.
Like running, cycling gives you a full-body cardiovascular workout. However, cycling is low impact, which makes it a great choice for anyone with joint issues or pain. It also builds muscle, boosts mental wellbeing, and increases lung health.
Cyclists sometimes suffer from knee pain due to the strain cycling can put on the area. If you’re new to cycling or increasing your weekly mileage, a knee sleeve can aid your recovery and help to prevent injury.
Short on time? Add some movement to your day by cycling to work.
Wild swimming is swimming outdoors in natural bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, or the ocean. Spring and summer, when the weather is warm, are the ideal times to go wild swimming.
You’ll see some beautiful places and enjoy the mental health benefits of being in the great outdoors, as well as the physical benefits of swimming—which include greater endurance, better cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles, and improved heart and lung function.
Wild swimming does carry some risk, so always research locations properly to ensure they are safe. WOWSA is an open water swimming community that has some great safety tips and recommendations for wild swimming locations throughout the United States and the world.
Not quite ready to tackle wild swimming? An outdoor pool is an equally enjoyable option… and probably warmer, too!
Grab a partner and your tennis racquet and head to your local courts. Tennis is a brilliant way to build your aerobic fitness. It also increases your speed, stamina, reaction times, and coordination.
Since you need at least one other person to play, tennis is also a great social activity. Why not make an informal competition of it or challenge another pair to a game of doubles? If you don’t know anyone else who plays, consider joining a local tennis club. You’ll get fit and make friends at the same time.
Tennis players can be at risk of injuries to the elbow and wrist. “Tennis elbow” is a condition in which the tendons of the forearm become inflamed on the outer side of the elbow. Prolonged gripping, such as holding a tennis racquet, is said to be a cause. Tennis elbow is painful and can be debilitating. One easy way to protect yourself and minimize your risk of this condition occurring is to use a protective elbow sleeve.
Head to the park (or your backyard) with your mat and try yoga outdoors. If you already practice yoga regularly, you can simply take your usual session outside. Or, if you’re new to yoga or enjoy practicing with others, look for an outdoor yoga class near you. More and more yoga studios and instructors are now organizing outdoor sessions in the sunnier months.
Yoga is an amazing mind/body workout that has as many mental benefits as physical ones. When you combine that with the mood-boosting properties of being outside in the sun, you’re guaranteed to step off the mat with a smile on your face.