After a long, cold winter, many of us are eager to get outside and seize those sunny days we’ve anticipated for so long. The great outdoors offers a chance for a wide range of activities, and exercising is just one on the list of numerous healthy options. Instead of hitting the gym, use the nice weather to your advantage and take your workouts outside. Whether you enjoy running on a treadmill, using an exercise bike or doing push-ups, virtually any form of indoor exercise can be taken outside and turned into a fun activity. Before you incorporate green exercise into your routine, here are a couple of tips to get you started.
Skip the treadmill – go for a jog
Although treadmills can be very useful for exercising at home during cooler months, when warmer days arrive, it’s best to take your running outside. Both running on an indoor treadmill and jogging are great cardio exercises that activate the same group of muscles, but according to a study conducted in 2010, going for a jog proves to be more enjoyable and fulfilling than hopping on a treadmill. Go for a jog to a nearby park or use the sidewalk to get your blood pumping. The fresh air is bound to make you feel good, while the exercise is sure to be motivating and invigorating.
Use your bike to commute to work
Another way to make a switch from your usual day-to-day routine and activate your muscles would be to use your bike to commute. Of course, there are different factors to consider such as the distance from your home to work as well as the weather conditions. However, the health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the comfort of driving your car to work. Not only will you be saving money by choosing this alternative way of commuting, but you will also be doing the environment a big favor. Check out the bike paths in your town or city, and do some research to see whether something like this would be right for you.
Make sure you’re prepared
While exercising in nature is free, there is one thing you need to invest in before you take your workout outside – your gear! You want to make sure you’re well-prepared for your outdoor activities and that means adjusting your activewear to the current weather conditions. A good pair of comfortable running shoes will provide optimal support for your legs, while quality puffer jackets will keep you warm and cozy when exercising outside. Sunscreen and sunglasses will help protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays, while a reusable water bottle will ensure you stay hydrated during the day.
Look for props in nature
Want to practice but don’t want to spend much on a gym? Exercising in nature is a great alternative to pricey gym memberships, but it also requires you to be creative about the “equipment” you use to practice. Look at nature as your free gym and try to find some props you can use to strengthen your muscles. A park bench could be perfect for practicing push-ups and dips, while sidewalk curbs can be helpful for calf raises and step-ups. Monkey bars at a nearby playground can be used for pull-ups, but they are also great for stretching. The idea is to take advantage of what nature is offering you and allow yourself to be creative with what you find.
Vary your exercises
Although exercising indoors is very beneficial to your health, sometimes you need to swap out your surroundings and change things up a bit. Although it doesn’t hurt to have a routine, practicing in the same place every day and repeating the same set of exercises may become dull after a while and you might start to lose interest and motivation. That is why you need to make sure to vary your exercises and do something else every time. Taking your workout outdoors can never be the same because of different weather conditions, the wind, and the temperature – all these factors encourage your body to adapt to the new situation and push you to make the most of the situation you find yourself in.
Challenging terrains, constantly changing weather conditions, and natural resistance from the wind all give you an opportunity to get your body in shape and enhance your mood relying on fun outdoor activities. Start small, and gradually build up your exercise routine to help push your boundaries and achieve amazing results.