Take Your Workout Outdoors

By Lauren Verini, Eco18.com
May 22, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015

With the temperatures heating up, more than likely you’re looking for ways to spend as much time outside as possible, and I don’t blame you!

It’s one of the best times of the year, when the bitter temperatures of winter have disappeared, but it’s not too hot out yet, and the trees and flowers are starting to bloom. It’s time to make the most of this wonderful season by getting outdoors and enjoying it.

Anyone who works out at the gym will tell you it can get monotonous after a while. Spicing up your gym routine with outdoor workouts will be a welcome change that will keep you interested in staying active, but also give you more appreciation for your surroundings.

The sun on your face, fresh air, and warm breeze will be all the you need to put a smile on your face and is a great way to unwind and de-stress after a long day. Here are a few of my favorite springtime activities that everyone can try out at least once to see if they like. They have the benefit of being easy and costing little to no money.

Hiking

Hiking can be a great group activity or solo adventure, and you won’t need much to do it. The American Hiking Society suggests bringing a bottle of water with you to keep you hydrated, cell phone, map, and a compass. If you’re going alone, always tell someone where you are going and when. Hiking is great because you can go at any pace you like, and it’s more about discovering what’s around you and taking it all in. Check out the American Hiking Society’s website for additional tips and links to hiking trails in your area.

Hula Hooping

Hula hooping is not just for little kids anymore! Hula hooping is actually a great form of exercise that incorporates cardio and muscle toning, it can burn calories, increase flexibility and balance, and its repetitive motion is a great form of relaxation. A study done by the American Council on Exercise estimated that a 30-minute hula hooping session could burn 210 calories. One of the best parts—you can do it wherever you like, such as your local park or beach on a nice spring day. To maximize your exercise there are special weighted and padded hoops that range from three to seven pounds and cost roughly $25 to $150. Check out websites like Hoop Girl, Hoop Class or HoopNotica.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is for the adventurer who likes to push the limits. The extreme heights that come with climbing can be a bit daunting, but outdoor rock climbing will take you to some of the most amazing and beautiful places in the world. There are various types of climbing for different levels, but bouldering is the best option for beginners. This type of rock climbing is when you climb a rock formation 10 to 15 feet high, low enough so if you fall you won’t injure yourself. All you need are climbing shoes, a crash pad, and chalk bag. Climbing gear can be purchased at your local outdoor sports store or REI.

Outdoors

If you’re going to run on the treadmill in a gym, why not take it outside and hit the pavement? Outdoor running gives you a better view and changes up your scenery, once again making your routine less monotonous. It’s one of the most convenient and flexible forms of exercise since it’s free, and you don’t need a partner and can get up and go whenever it’s convenient for you.

As the temperatures continue to rise, it’s even more important to remember to wear sunscreen, protect your eyes with sunglasses, and stay hydrated with plenty of water.

There are numerous organizations through the U.S. like Zog Sports and Sports Monster that bring together adults who are looking to join a sports league in their community. You can either join with a group of friends or by yourself; it’s a great way to meet new people! Sports teams range from everything to basketball, softball, dodgeball, kickball, soccer, volleyball, and more.

Games are usually once a week, and there is usually a social aspect to the meet-ups as well, such as a happy hour, as well as a philanthropic aspect. Zog Sports, for instance, donates 10 percent of league profits to various charities and coordinates numerous charity events and volunteer opportunities for its team members.

Eco18 is a collective of creative-writing individuals from different backgrounds with a common goal—to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Their combined expertise, humor, and opinions explore green and sustainable in a practical, fun way.

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