Four fun outdoor exercises for spring

Shrug off the winter blues and head outdoors with these fun exercise ideas for spring!

With spring in the air, it’s time to throw off the cloak of winter and get back outdoors for some exercise.
 
Outdoor workouts can be as structured or organic as you like, and there are plenty of outdoor exercise ideas that are simply fun activities to enjoy, which have the added benefit of helping you become fitter and healthier.
 
“In order to maintain an exercise regime, it has to be something you enjoy most of the time. There are so many options when it comes to exercise outdoors; from boot camps, to running, cycling, walking, trail running, hiking, skiing and swimming. You name it,” says integrative psychologist, fitness coach and author of Head First Health Fast, Leanne Hall.
 
Why not combine your outdoor workouts with socialising and grab a friend when you hit the great outdoors? That way you can help motivate and inspire each other, and treat yourselves to a coffee at the end.

Paddle boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is a fantastic outdoor workout which is also stacks of fun. The water is getting warmer, and if it isn’t quite balmy enough yet it’s a great incentive to stay up on the board! 

When you paddle board, you use several major muscle groups at the same time - which is why it’s also terrific for fat burning and cardiovascular fitness.

“At the gym, typically upper body workouts focus on shoulders, chest and arms - mainly in isolation, which is great. However what’s often neglected is the back. Anything where you “pull,” such as swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, works the upper back. This is why swimmers and rowers have such amazing posture,” says Leanne.

Bike riding

Dusting off your bike, strapping on your helmet and hitting a bike track can be one of the most liberating feelings. Not only does the wind on your face and fresh air in your lungs feel great, but you’re also getting a great workout outdoors. You could even change up your routine by cycling to work!
 
“Again, when you cycle you are using several major muscle groups at the same time - which increases both strength and endurance, as well as increasing fat burning and fitness. It’s also low impact, reducing impact on muscles and joints so it’s a terrific way to cross train, especially for runners.” Leanne tells.
a girl walking her dog through the park

Going for a walk

Whether you hit a trail in the bush, find a seaside or parkside path, or choose your own adventure, taking a walk is one of the cheapest and easiest forms of outdoor exercise that almost anyone can do. 

“It’s a great way to get going again if you haven’t exercised in a while, or if you are starting out. However, to increase fitness you need to gradually increase the load on your muscles, including your heart. This means targeting your exercise to around 70-80 per cent of your max heart rate. Having said that, it’s better to move than not move, and walking has so many benefits, and it can be fun!” Leanne tells.

Canoeing

Just like paddle boarding, the motion of pulling the oar keeps your upper body working while you catch some fresh air and sunshine. Always ensure you slip, slop, slap, but remember that vitamin D is brilliant for your health. 

“Doing something active outdoors increases exposure to vitamin D which is great for bone density (aids in the absorption of calcium) and may help protect against certain diseases such as cancer,” says Leanne.

Maintaining an active lifestyle has so many benefits for your entire health and wellbeing. It maintains healthy joints, and bone density, and exercise is also proven to reduce anxiety, and helps regulate mood.
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