When the weather’s cold, exercising routines can become fairly limited. Most people join a gym for access to treadmills and weights. Others pay for indoor fitness classes and good workout plans like Zumba, yoga and tai chi. But when the weather warms up, it’s time to head outside for some fun and – best of all – free outdoor workouts!
We suggest you try one (or all!) of these outdoor workout ideas to stay fit and happy this spring and summer.
Good workout plans
The sun is an excellent motivator when it comes to working out. After months of chilly temps and gray skies, the warmth makes us excited to be outside. So take advantage of that extra pep in your step and head to the nearest hiking trail! Not only does hiking have numerous health benefits, like burning calories, improving your cardiovascular fitness and lowering your risk for heart disease, but it’s also a great way to escape the bustle of busy towns and cities. It’s almost the best workout for improving your physical health and mental clarity.
Quick tip: Hiking trails can range from easy to extremely difficult. Be sure to pick a trail that’s within your fitness level. And no matter which trail you’re hiking, bring a map of the trail, your phone, some snacks and lots of water! It’s also good to pack along sunscreen and bug spray as well – chiggers and mosquitoes can be oppressive on humid summer days.
An eco-friendly mode of transportation, easy-on-the-joints outdoor workout and a great group activity, cycling should definitely be on your list of things to do this spring. Enjoy the warm weather and sunshine by heading to a nearby park with friends and family for a bike ride. You can get some fresh air and appreciate the nice views, all while increasing your stamina, burning calories, pedaling off extra pounds and more. To add some heart-healthy activity to your daily routine, you can even ride to work or the nearest grocery store for your weekly milk run. Be sure to wear a helmet!
Quick tip: Cycling can be a leisurely activity, but if you’re looking to take it up a notch, try riding up a hill. Yes, it will burn! But in a few weeks those toned legs will be all the reward you need.
Did you know that AAA Northeast members receive free bicycle service along with their 24-hour roadside assistance for their vehicle? If your bicycle breaks down while you’re out for a ride, call 1-800-AAA-HELP.
When you were a kid, you probably spent summers gliding up and down the neighborhood blocks just for fun. Well this spring, make fun one of your favorite outdoor workouts! According to this calorie-burning chart from the Mayo Clinic, someone weighing 160 pounds can burn up to 548 calories in just one hour of inline skating – that’s 274 calories every 30 minutes! And while burning calories is always a plus, the real prize is building your cardio endurance and toning up your lower body. True, running may have the same benefits, but inline skating is way more exciting and a lot less jarring on your joints. Just remember to wear a helmet and knee pads. Wrist pads are a good investment as well, since it could be a bumpy ride if you’re just learning. And now that roller derby is enjoying a surge in popularity, you can choose from inline skates or the fun roller skates that you may remember from your ’70s childhood!
A lot of games we played as children are great exercise. Pick up a jump rope or play some flag football or badminton for even more entertaining outdoor workouts!
According to the American Heart Association, people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week in order to improve cardiovascular health. But if you’re picking an activity you enjoy, that’s the best workout, since you’re likely to stick with it!
Join a baseball league or grab some friends, family members and neighbors to start one of your own. Spend time of the weekends embarking on canoeing and kayaking trips. Or start a Sunday soccer game with co-workers. No matter which of these outdoor workouts you decide to take on, just remember to keep moving and have fun. You’ll be in better shape before you know it!
Need fresh workout gear? Check out AAA’s discounts for clothes, shoes and more.
Do you have any other outdoor workout ideas to add? Tell us your favorites in the comments.
Any new exercise routines should be approached with caution. Consider your physical limitations and always consult your doctors.