Ahh…the smell of freshly cut grass, the birds chirping, beautiful weather…Spring is here, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I know most of us think of revamping our fitness and health goals in January, but I can argue that Springtime is a great time for a revamp, too. Additionally, most of us set goals in January and need a bit of a refresher to get us excited about our fitness journeys. Read below for tips on how to add some excitement to your health in this gorgeous Spring weather.
- Take a walk!
The weather is cool and not too humid yet, so Spring is the best time to gather up your furry friends (or non-furry ones) and take a walk at one of our beautiful parks around the Triad. Some of my favorites: a hike through Tanglewood Park, a stroll through Wake Forest University, and a house- hunting gander through Buena Vista. If you want to add a little strength training to your walk in order to up your heart rate, add some strength bursts every ¼ of a mile. Stop and do squats, pushups, walking lunges and mountain climbers. Do each one for 1 minute.
- Yard work is hard work.
Yard work can be a workout, too! Spend your Saturday weeding, spreading mulch or grass-seed, watering your flower beds and mowing the lawn. One of the pitfalls of yard work can be a sore back, so make sure you keep your form in mind. You should be squatting to lift the mulch, not bending from your waist with straight legs. This may seem silly, but if you pay attention to what you’re doing, you may be surprised at how often you bend from the waist. Bending from the waist does not utilize our core or lower body, and both of those are important to take the focus off our backs.
- Join a club.
Think about joining a running group, walking club or volunteering to walk dogs at the animal shelter. Spring is an ideal time to meet new people, and why not do that while outdoors and getting a workout? The “Couch to 5K” program is an awesome introduction to running and could be an ideal feat for you and your friends to try together. Sign up for a 5K and set a goal!
- Go for a spin!
Take your bike for a ride for a couple of hours on the weekend! If you’re like me and don’t own a bike, never fear! Winston-Salem has recently started a Zagster bike-sharing program, where you can rent a bike for $3.00 and explore downtown. Visit zagster.com for more information.
- Take your routine outside.
Sometimes I get bored with always being in the gym and love to take a break from the indoors by working out outside. There are tons of bodyweight strength workouts that can be done anywhere, and why not on your back porch or in the front yard? You may even inspire the neighbors to join you! Here is an example of a 20-minute bodyweight cardio and core workout:
- 3 min warmup of jogging in place;
- 1-minute jumping jacks, alternating with 30 seconds of sit-ups and 30 seconds of plank hold—do these three times;
- 1-minute jump rope in place with 30 seconds of mountain climbers and 30 seconds of crunches—do these three times;
- 1 minute jogging in place with 30 seconds of up-up-down-down planks and 30 seconds of side plank holds (alternate)—do these three times;
- Cooldown and stretch;
- OR you can keep the workout going and do a 30-45-minute walk after this workout.
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