Updated: Feb 6
The sun is shining and winter is over - time to take your fitness outdoors! Here are some of our favorite, fun and creative ways you can get your fitness on in the great outdoors.
Take a walk.
Keep it simple and just go for a stroll! Enjoying a nice walk around the neighborhood can be so invigorating and so good for mind, body and spirit. Have a 4-legged friend? Notice how they explore the sights, smells, and sounds of nature the minute they step outside the door? Taking a walk can be a great way to bring you back to the present moment, appreciating all the beauty around you, helping to relieve the day's stress, and bonus you are doing something healthy for YOU.
Explore the trails.
Pperfect for a sunny, overcast or even drizzly day! From flat to steady incline, many trails offer great tree cover, providing an added element of protection from Mother Nature's quick weather changes, and bonus, the sounds of raindrops hitting the leaves can be music to the ears! As the temps warm up snow begins to melt, more and more trails will become accessible, offering you the opportunity to explore a variety of terrain, view bubbling brooks, waterfalls, and all sorts of sights and sounds in nature. New to hiking? Try a trail rated easy to moderate and work your way up from there! For those of you in WA, check out the Washington State Association's Hiking Guide for some fun hiking trails in your local area.
Hit the water.
it might not be quite warm enough for an open water swim (polar bear challenge anyone?), but it's a great time to start enjoying some other water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, even paddle boarding. Not only are these some fun ways to get outside they will get your heart pumping and muscles working too! And the tranquility of the still water can do wonders for mind, body and spirit.
Visit your local parks and playgrounds.
Not just for the kiddos, they are fun for everyone! Many parts offer a variety of fitness activities, from tennis and basketball courts, to baseball and soccer fields, dog parks, and community playgrounds and more! More and more parks are springing up in communities, offering a fun perks such as rock climbing walls, skate boarding arenas, roller blading paths, biking trails, climbing cages, monkey bars, swings, and loads of agility equipment. Talk about having fun with fitness!
Ever noticed those groups of people in the morning out at the local park doing yoga or tai chai? How about the group of men and women out at the local play field busting out bodyweight exercises and partner workout drills? When the weather perks up those local parks, play fields, and playgrounds offer another great place for fitness groups to gather, offering the mind, body and spirit benefit of getting their sweat on outside. Somehow doing lunges across the tennis or basketball court, knocking out some pushups and step ups on picnic table benches and engaging in bear walks and sit ups on grassy fields is a whole lot more fun than the stuffy old gym once the sun comes out. Check out local social media community groups and discussion boards (on Facebook and Instagram) for local offerings in your area!
Bottom line: when the sun comes out you just don't want to feel stuck inside. So let's head outdoors and mix up the fitness routine with some fun new exercise activities! Ever-changing landscapes like trails, grassy parks, rocky paths, and sandy beaches can challenge our balance and agility in new ways, helping us bust through fitness barriers and supporting our overall fitness abilities. Discover new ways to break up the traditional fitness rut by incorporating those things in your local environment, such as picnic tables, benches, swings and trees, and challenge yourself to get creative and challenge your body in new and fun ways. Fitness outdoors is so much more than fitness, it is health for mind, spirit and body!
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