Outdoor Activities to Improve Your Physical Health This Spring

Outdoor Activities to Improve Your Physical Health This Spring

The sun is shining, and temperatures are beginning to rise—the spring season is finally here in full swing. While you may have been putting off outdoor exercise due to the freezing cold weather of winter, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the warmth outside and get some physical exercise. If you are looking for ways to improve your health and wellness, keep reading for some easy types of exercise to get active outdoors this spring! 

Why should I exercise outside? 

Keeping your body active has many great benefits for your physical and mental health, such as maintaining or losing weight, decreasing the risk of heart disease, strengthening your muscles, and helping you live longer. Physical exercise can also improve your mood and energy levels. The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults complete at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate physical exercise each week.  

Taking this time to enjoy the sunlight this summer can greatly increase your vitamin D levels as well. Adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun can help improve both bone health and immune health. The University of Manchester recommends that those with darker skin expose themselves to 25-40 minutes of sun each day, while those with lighter skin only need about 10-15 minutes of sun each day. Summertime is perfect for getting both physical fitness and enough vitamin D to last for the rest of the year, and here are some easy outdoor exercise routines to encourage you to soak up the sun! 

Easy Ways to Get Physical Exercise Outside 

1. Find a local hiking trail. 

Hiking is so much more than walking on a trail—it is an opportunity to be one with the beauty of nature. Hiking can also improve your mental health and wellness, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Go by yourself and walk at your own pace or take your friends and family for an adventure through nature together. Make sure to bring plenty of food and water, good hiking boots, and sunscreen! 

2. Go on a run, a jog, or even just a walk. 

The easiest and most accessible way to get outdoor cardiovascular exercise is by walking. You can take whatever pace is most comfortable for you while still getting that activity you need. You can even choose to walk up a hill for extra calorie burning and for activation of your glutes and calf muscles. 

Walking is a great way to ease yourself into exercise. Once you feel comfortable walking, you can even progress to jogging or running outside instead. Running or jogging can burn many more calories compared to walking, and they can also help improve your heart health, energy, and ability to lose weight. 

3. Go for a bicycle ride. 

Another form of cardio exercise, and a great exercise to lose weight outside, is bike riding. Bicycle-riding is an easy, low-impact form of exercise that can help strengthen bones and muscles. Riding a bike can also be smoothly integrated into your daily routine since it is a great mode of transportation. Instead of driving to work each day, opt to ride your bicycle, getting your needed fresh air each morning while also helping you stay active. 

4. Go for a swim. 

It’s finally that time of year to use your backyard pool again! Swimming is a great way to exercise your entire body, boost your mood, and help manage stress. It is also a fun and easy exercise for children. Find a local recreation center with public pool facilities if you don’t have access to a pool of your own and swim a few laps, or you could play some pool games such water polo or Marco Polo to keep you active while also spending time with friends and family. 

The Most Important Thing to Remember When Exercising Outside 

You probably guessed it—water. Make sure that when completing any exercise, especially outdoor exercise, you have a filled water bottle at hand to keep you energized. Without enough hydration, your bodily functions may slow down, and your performance, especially during physical activity, may worsen. Drinking water can boost your endurance and help with concentration.  

It is recommended that men drink about 3 liters of water each day, while women should drink around 2 liters a day. If you tend to not drink enough water because of its flavorlessness, or you just need more motivation to drink water, try adding water enhancers to your water bottle! Sweetleaf’s zero-calorie, zero-sugar Water Drops may have just the right flavor for you, such as strawberry kiwi or peach mango. 

For more tips on how to care for your physical and mental health during spring, click this link. 

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