Happy First Day of Spring! As the weather starts to warm up, the different ways you can work out increase dramatically. If you’ve got a case of spring fever and are itching to get outdoors, consider these five ways to work out outside:
REGISTER FOR A 5K
In 2015, 7.6 million people ran and finished a 5K race. That many people can’t be wrong! If you’ve never run an organized race before, the 5K is a natural place to start. Give yourself about 8 weeks to train and plan to run outside at least three times a week. Running on a treadmill is a totally different experience, so be sure to map out safe routes you can run regularly. Register before you begin so you have a specific goal and date to work towards.
GO FOR A BIKE RIDE
Heading out for breakfast this weekend? Instead of taking the car, strap on your helmet and go for a ride! Even a leisurely trip gets your legs working, and if you take the hilly route, you’ll get your cardio in, too! Make sure to stay in the bike lane and follow all traffic laws to ensure your safety. Not comfortable riding with traffic? Find a bike-friendly park with paved walkways, or see if your city has any mountain biking trails.
JOIN A REC LEAGUE
If you like to compete, joining a recreational sports league will be right up your alley. It’s a fun way to stay motivated, meet new people and of course, get outside – especially for those who don’t like going to the gym. Options normally include kickball, volleyball, flag football, softball and even dodgeball, but do a quick Google search in your city to find the sport and dates that work best for you.
TAKE A HIKEEven if you don’t live in a city with mountains, you can still find trails worth exploring. Pack up the car with plenty of water and healthy snacks, put on a pair of comfy shoes and get in touch with nature! Find your next adventure at alltrails. This awesome website features over 50,000 trail maps, directions to get you there and reviews from other outdoor enthusiasts.
FIND A PARK BENCH
Craving something a little more familiar? Get a dose of vitamin D while going through these exercises by jogging to the closest park and using a park bench. Try to do 15 reps of each exercise in the order listed. That’s one round. Complete five rounds of all five exercises for a complete, full-body workout:
•Plyometric Step-ups – Stand facing the park bench. In one fluid motion, place your right foot on the seat, lean into your right leg and jump upward onto the seat as your left leg swings upwards towards your chest. Slowly lower your left leg first to return to the starting position. Complete 15 reps on one leg, then switch.
•Elevated Pushups – Place your hands on the ground, directly under your shoulders. Step back to place your feet on the seat of the bench. Perform a pushup as usual.
•Split Squats – Stand with your back to the park bench. Place the top of your right foot behind you on the seat. Lower into a squat. Complete 15 reps on one leg, then switch.
•Triceps Dips – Face away from the bench and place your hands hip-width apart on the seat with your fingers gripping the front edge. Walk your feet out in front of you with your heels on the ground. Lower your hips towards the ground and then press into your hands to return to the starting position.
•“Box” Jumps – Substitute the bench for your box. Make sure to use your arms for momentum, land softly, and bend your knees.
•Side Plank with Leg Lift – Place your right forearm on the seat and walk your feet out in alignment with your right shoulder and hip. Place your left foot on top of your right foot and reach your left hand up towards the sky, using your core for balance. Look up at your hand, while you slowly lift your left leg upwards, pausing at the top for two seconds. Return your left leg to the starting position. Complete 15 reps on one side, then switch.