Being cooped up all winter is no fun. Now that spring is (finally!) here, why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside for some fresh air, sunshine and exercise? There are endless fun and creative ways to work out outdoors—most of which won’t cost you a thing. So slather on some sunscreen, fill up that water bottle and try these ideas to get moving outside the gym or home.
The run around. A brisk walk or run through your neighborhood is the easiest and most obvious way to exercise outside. Try taking it up a notch by visiting a park with a walk/run path and stations that allow you to stop and do pull-ups, push-ups and squatting exercises. For variety, run through a different neighborhood or visit a park you haven’t been to before.
Backyard burn. Remember playing in your backyard as a child? It’s still a fun place to be active! Get a jump rope, a training ball and some resistance tubes and set up several stations in your yard. A simple routine might be to jump rope for 30 seconds, do upper body exercises (such as bicep curls) with a tube, do 10 to 15 squats, then do crunches using the ball. Repeat several times.
Hit the beach. If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach (like me!), head down to the shore to work out. Bring along a beach pack packed with your own mat, a portable fitness kit and some small hand or ankle weights. Start by sprinting as far as you can go, then lunge your way back. Do push-ups and crunches on your mat. Good old calisthenics also never go out of style—do jumping jacks, leg lifts, squats and stretches. When you’re finished, go for a swim or a long walk.
Take a ride. If you have a bike, dust it off and head out for a spin! Biking is especially fun with friends—pack a picnic lunch and make an outing out of your Saturday morning workout. Or, ride to run errands if you live close enough to a shopping center, doctor’s office or other destination on your list.
Remember to stay hydrated when exercising outdoors, especially when the weather starts to heat up. Also be prepared with a post-workout recovery drink like Ola Loa Sport Mango Tangerine —just add a packet to your water. For sunscreen, I like Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sport SPF 30, which stays put even when you sweat.
NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.