Did old man winter have you hibernating this year especially if you live in Canada or northern United States? Has your fitness regime suffered because of it? Now that the weather is getting better and we are finally putting winter to rest for the year, let’s get out there, enjoy nature and get a dose of Vitamin D.
Spring is that time of the year where flowers start to bloom, and nature comes back to life once again. Spring brings with it that natural feeling of freshness; you feel energized and have an overall sense of well-being. Spring is also the time to start anew.
So, if old man winter had you hitting that snooze button, sinking deeper into your bed while cuddling with your favorite blanket, than it’s finally time to jump out of bed and spring back into fitness.
Here are 5 great ways to enjoy the outdoors and start feeling fresh and energized again:
1) Explore Nature Trails in your Area
Take the time to find and explore some nature trails in your area. If you’re a little rusty with your running try speed walking or a walk jog program to help loosen up those muscles that have been sleeping through the winter. If you are just getting back or are new to running try this simple walk/jog program and let’s get that cardiovascular system revved up…after warming up for 5 minutes do a set of intervals where you run for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes. Do that 10 times. Cool down for 5 minutes. Your total workout time should be 20 to 30 minutes.
2) HIIT the Park
For those of you who might want a bit more of a challenge then do some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in the park. Monkey bars, benches, and swings can add variety and a challenge to your workouts. Look at what parks have to offer and decide how you can incorporate some fun ideas into your HIIT workout. Here is one for you:
Walking lunges around the park (Lower Body – Legs and Butt) Monkey Bar swings (Upper body – shoulders/Biceps) Box Jump using a park bench (Lower Body – Legs and Butt) Dips using a picnic table (Upper body – Triceps) Decline abs off the slide or Hanging leg lifts using the monkey bars (Abdominals) Sprint on the grass or sand (if park is on a beach nearby) (Lower body – Legs) Pull ups using the curved monkey bars After a 5-10 min warm up circuit through the above exercise, go all out for 30 seconds each and repeat 2 to 4 times. Cool down 5 to 10 min.
3) Take your Yoga to the Beach
Why not do your yoga practise on the beach? Barefoot yoga in the sand can really help intensify your yoga practice. Yoga on the beach is a great way to wake up those secondary muscles of your hands, feet, hips and shoulders and have you focused on your balance more than a flat service would. For a more intense yoga workout, leave the mat behind, sink your feet into that silky sand and soak up that sunshine. They don’t call it Sun Salutations for nothing!
4) Climb the Hills
Now that the ice and snow has melted, try adding hill climbing to your workout regime. Hill workouts are an effective way to target the buttocks and legs not to mention give you one hell of a cardio boost. Find a hill that will take you about 1 minute to climb. Warm up 5 to 10 min then start your hill intervals. Walk or run to the top of the hill then turn around and walk back down. The downhill is your resting phase. Once your heart rate has recovered repeat and head back up the hill. Repeat this for a total of 8 to 10 times. Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes on a flat surface. Alternatively, if you cannot find a hill, find an area where there are lots of stairs that you can climb and try stair sprinting instead of using a hill.
5) Dust your Bike off and go for a Ride
Time to get that bike out of storage, dust off that seat, add a little lube and hit the pavement. If you can find some cool bike trails nearby try integrating some speed drills into your ride. Warm up for 10 minutes going relatively easy on your bike. Then do a 30 second all out sprint followed by a 30 second easy ride. Repeat 10 times. Follow with a cooling down period for 10 to 15 minutes.
Try to incorporate at least one of these ideas per week. I hope these workouts will leave you feeling refreshed, energized and keeping you active throughout the sunny weather months.
How are you going to refresh and stay active for spring? Come and share your thoughts with me over at my Facebook page.