Spring is when nature throws off its dull winter coat and adorns itself with soft, lush beauty. The days started to get longer and the sun came out more regularly. This often prompts us to make changes in our lives: we clean and rearrange, wear colorful clothes, adopt a more positive outlook on life.
Spring is also a great time to get outside and make some changes in our exercise regimens too.
Whether your exercise regimen involves walking or aerobic activity, yoga or lifting weights, the great outdoors is a great place to get in shape. If you live near water, you have more options because spring is the perfect time to dust off your paddleboard or kayak and mix up your routine a bit.
In spring, gyms start to fill with people who suddenly realize that beach season is just around the corner and want to wear swimwear. Get rid of the crowds and take your practice to the streets. Running, biking and jumping rope are all great for cardio lovers and you can take your mobile device outside and host your own zumba, yoga or dance class right in your own backyard.
You can also create your own outdoor gym/obstacle course using what nature provides or what is already in most of the back pages. Sturdy branches make a great place to do pull-ups, rocks and heavy logs are excellent fodder for heavy lifting and you can use stumps to do push-ups, climb, jump or step.
Gardening is another great way to incorporate your exercise routine, as pulling weeds, digging, and even watering plants are great ways to build upper body strength. If you prefer social activities, you can invite a few friends over for some outdoor fun like volleyball, soccer, or even a game of kicking a good old can!
Dress for Spring
Moving your workout outdoors will require a different wardrobe than working out indoors. Footwear should be appropriate for the weather, the surface you are exercising on and the type of activity you are doing. It is also important to wear layers, as the weather can start out cold but you can overheat quickly as your metabolism kicks in and your body heat increases. Ditch your cotton shirts and opt for more breathable materials.
It’s also a great time to celebrate spring by opting for brighter colors – not to mention it will help make you more easily noticed while running or walking. Warm colors like red, yellow and orange also have an effect on mood and can make you feel more energetic and more likely to get a good workout. Red in particular has intensifying effect in sports and other activities.
Black, on the other hand, is a color to avoid for outdoor activities. Black actually absorbs sunlight and can make it easier to burn. If your skin is sensitive, be sure and use a good sunscreen even if the sun is not too harsh.
Clean Up Your Pre and Post-Workout Meals with Spring
Spring is also a great time to mix up your diet by incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your pre- and post-workout meals. The weather actually helps our waistlines a lot because we don’t crave carbs or rich, heavy meals like we do in the winter when it’s cold. Spinach makes a great base for salads as it is an excellent source of iron and is great for providing energy.
Don’t forget to increase your water intake as well. For every 15 minutes of exercise, you should drink 4-6 ounces of water. Even the portion of your body weight that you lose in sweat can make your heart beat faster, which can cause you to feel weak and tired and sabotage your workout.
Match Your Exercise to Your Mood
Just as the weather fluctuates in spring, so do our moods. Spring can still bring gloomy days and sometimes make us feel tired. Fatigue sets in in spring due to changing weather and longer days, which require us to use up more energy. The change acts as a stressor and one of the best ways to do it reduce stress are exercising.
However, if changing weather is also giving you headaches and headaches, it’s okay to lower your standards. Do some strength training while sitting or walking around. The important thing is to stick to the discipline of exercising without pushing yourself too hard.
Work into Your Spring Fever for Your Practice
Hormones are another aspect of spring that can have a powerful effect on your workout. What is sometimes known as “spring fever” is actually just that seasonal hormonal changes. While some days you can feel very tired, other days you can feel full of energy.
Just like on days when you feel drained and tired, you can adapt your workouts to high-energy days as well. These are the great days of cranking up some high-octane music, pumping up the volume and hitting the pavement hard or dancing like your life depended on it!
Spring is a great time to improve your fitness as your energy levels increase and your cravings for rich, fatty or high-carbohydrate foods decrease. Take advantage of all these changes by mixing up your exercise routine. There are so many different ways to exercise outdoors, why not mix them up and try something completely new!