By Ginny Hain - Contributing Blogger
As of late, I've noticed something a little different about how people are acting. Maybe you have too. For me, it's not just people I know, it's everyone I see, in stores, at work, on the street, everywhere. Myself included. It's like we've all been given a dose of something to put a little pep in our step and to get our pearly whites flashing. I think I know what that something is too: Spring.
It makes sense, after all. The blossoms on the trees and flowers coming into bloom are gasp-worthy and the sunshine, in my opinion, is almost begging people to bask in it.
Invitation accepted. After making it through the long, gray, chilly, dark (do I need to keep going?) winter, I personally am so ready to don some floral print leggings and to get out there to enjoy it. I think I'll even use my spring energy boost to get a little exercise while I'm at it.
Thinking of doing the same (with or without the leggings)?
You should! It turns out, perhaps unsurprisingly, that working out in the great outdoors is super good for you. Sure, gyms have their place, but multiple studies have shown that people who get their hearts pumping outdoors come away having enjoyed their workouts more than those who stay in. Similar studies also show that those who sweat outside work out harder and for longer without even necessarily knowing it! That's because outdoor exercise is full of diversions—people, foliage, weather—that give the mind something other to focus on other than the workout at hand. The saying about time flying when you're having fun? It also flies when there's stuff to keep us distracted.
There is also some evidence that suggests that exercising outdoors may even make people happier. Sure, exercise in any form reduces stress and releases endorphins, but when coupled with the fresh air and natural light of the outdoors, it results in further elevated moods and levels of serotonin as well as in a decrease in the blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Did I mention that opting outside also helps to boost immunity? Plus, thanks to the sun, it comes complete with a healthy hit of Vitamin D, a vitamin that promotes cell regeneration and bone strength.
Three cheers for the outdoors! Now, how to get out there and enjoy it?
If you're looking to ramp up your cardio, how about a spring run? A brisk walk or a bike ride with friends is another great way to catch up while burning calories as are more leisurely athletic pursuits including tossing a Frisbee or taking the yoga mats outside.
Looking for something a little more workout-based? The great thing about routine-based exercise is that for basically any workout you would do in a gym there is an outdoor-friendly version. What's even better, many of these workouts require nothing more than your body, a little open space, and occasionally the help of a park bench.
No matter how you choose to get out in the newly found warm weather, here's to enjoying it! After all, when the sunshine beckons, our body benefits. Happy Spring!
Take it to your local park or backyard and get those endorphins pumping with this fun high intensity workout for all levels!
20 Jumping Jacks
10 Lunges (10 on each leg)
15 Squat Jumps
20 Step ups (Using a bench)
20-25 Laying Leg Lifts
20 High Knees
30 Second Plank
15 Tricep dips (Using a bench)
Be sure to complete each circuit and then take a 1-2 minute break, repeat 3-5 times!
Check out this workout for another HIIT option! Take it to the beach or grab a friend to make it more fun!