Get Outside with These 7 Fitness Switches

By Katie McGrath for

Spring is in the air! And so is that extra motivation to get up and move…outside preferably! The New York Times recently reported on the benefits of exercising outdoors, including longer running strides, faster cycling speeds, increased duration of the workout, and increases in enjoyment and happiness levels!

How can you reap these benefits and shift your sweat sessions from inside to the sunshine? Here are seven easy ways to enjoy exercise outside this spring.

Instead of: Running the indoor track
Try: Running through the park

Why run in circles when you can explore nature? Adventure to a new part of town, grab a friend, bring your dog, feel the wind in your hair!

Instead of: Yoga in a studio
Try: Yoga in nature’s studio
Moving through your favorite sun salutation in a heated room is great when it’s chilly outside, but why not salute the actual sun? Take your mat to the nearest patch of clean grass and truly connect with your surroundings and yourself. Outdoors is just one of 7 crazy places people do yoga.

Instead of: Circuit workouts
Try: Obstacle courses

You’ve created your own intervals and intensities with machines and equipment, why not get creative and make your own outside? Sprint the next 2 blocks, walking lunges to the next tree, 20 jumping jacks at the stop sign, and a long jog to your next stopping point.

Instead of:Spinning classes
Try: Cycling
Simulate your favorite Spin instructor by popping in your earbuds and listening to some heart-pumping music, but let your RPMs actually take you somewhere! A hilly park, the nearby trails, or your far-away errands are all fair game when you can jam out while you ride.  

Instead of: Free weights and machines
Try: Body-weight exercises
There’s a time and a place for bicep curls and overhead press, but not when the weather can’t be beat. Leave the weight room and use your own body weight to strength train, then rock your squats, pushups, and planks just about anywhere.

Instead of:Elliptical
Try: A brisk walk
Use the time you would spend on the cardio equipment and go for a quick walk with a friend or listen to your favorite podcast. Trade your views of sweaty towels and florescent lights for chirping birds and blue skies! 

Instead of: Rowing
Try: Kayaking
That rowing machine sure offers a great workout (House of Cards, anyone?), but nothing can quite simulate the thrill and strength it takes to master a real kayak on the water. Even small town rivers often have hourly rentals for a fun weekend activity that burns major calories. 

When you head back indoors, cool off and refuel with our new Frozen Banana Ice Cream Parfaits!

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