Spring into fitness: outdoor workout ideas to embrace the spring season

As the chill of winter gives way to the warmth of spring, many of us are eager to shed our layers and embrace the great outdoors. What better way to welcome the season of renewal than by taking our workouts outside? Spring offers the perfect backdrop for invigorating outdoor exercise routines that not only elevate our fitness levels but also nourish our spirits. From brisk walks in the park to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions under the sun, here are some outdoor workout ideas to help you spring into fitness this season.

Libby Elsmore, a senior nursing student, and Giana Marino, a senior criminal justice student, both teach fitness classes here at Monmouth. According to Elsmore, weather can cause a change in our daily activities: “The colder weather definitely affects my motivation to work out, so I found that taking classes as opposed to just going to the gym makes it a little easier to exercise during the winter months!” If you’re looking for a little extra motivation—no matter the weather—check out Elsmore’s Abs, Legs, and Butt Class on Mondays and Marino’s Hourglass Class on Wednesdays!

Embrace Nature with Outdoor Cardio

Power Walking or Jogging: Lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement for a refreshing walk or jog around your neighborhood or local park. The sights and sounds of nature blooming around you will add an extra boost of motivation to your cardio workout.
Both Elsmore and Marino agreed that taking a walk is their preferred method of exercise once the nice weather comes around. Marino commented, “My favorite way to exercise on warmer days is to walk at Pier Village.”

Elsmore concurred, “My favorite way to take advantage of the warmer weather while working out is going for a walk on the boardwalk.”

Cycling Adventures: Dust off your bike and explore scenic bike trails or quiet country roads. Cycling not only provides an excellent cardiovascular workout but also allows you to connect with nature as you pedal through lush landscapes.

Hiking Excursions: Take advantage of the longer daylight hours by embarking on a hiking adventure. Whether you opt for a leisurely nature walk or a challenging hike up a mountain trail, you will reap the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and stunning views along the way.

Sculpt and Strengthen in the Sunshine

Bodyweight Exercises in the Park: Head to your local park equipped with nothing but your body and a yoga mat. Engage in a series of bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks to sculpt and strengthen your muscles amidst the beauty of nature.

Outdoor Circuit Training: Set up a circuit of exercises using benches, stairs, and other outdoor structures. Incorporate activities like step-ups, tricep dips, and box jumps to create a dynamic, full-body workout that takes advantage of your surroundings.

Resistance Band Workouts: Pack a lightweight resistance band and take your strength training routine outdoors. Resistance bands are versatile tools that allow you to target various muscle groups with exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, and lateral leg lifts, all while soaking up the sunshine.

“HIIT It” Outdoors

Interval Running Sprints: Transform your regular run into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session by incorporating short bursts of sprinting. Alternate between periods of sprinting, jogging, and walking to challenge your cardiovascular system and burn maximum calories.

Park HIIT Circuit: Utilize the open space of a park to create a HIIT circuit consisting of exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and squat jumps. Perform each exercise for a set amount of time or repetitions, with minimal rest between exercises, to elevate your heart rate and torch fat.

Tabata Training in the Sun: Tabata training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. Take your Tabata workout outdoors and perform exercises like kettlebell swings, jumping lunges, and bicycle crunches in the fresh air for a quick and effective calorie-blasting session.

Cool Down and Stretch Outside

Yoga in the Park: Unroll your yoga mat on the grass and immerse yourself in a revitalizing outdoor yoga practice. Connect with your breath, stretch your muscles, and find inner peace as you flow through sun salutations and grounding yoga poses surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Practical Pilates: In the crisp spring air, practicing Pilates outside invigorates the senses. Surrounded by blossoming nature, each stretch and pose harmonizes with the awakening environment. The gentle breeze complements the movements, fostering a serene and revitalizing experience.

Emme Padula, a senior business administration student, teaches Pilates classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays here at Monmouth. She explained, “Pilates is an exercise that focuses on the major muscle groups to strengthen and improve core stability. Pilates uses techniques that incorporate stretching throughout the workout to allow the body to improve in its flexibility and overall performance.”

She also commented on the necessity of stretching before and after you exercise, stating, “Stretching before a workout is important because it prepares the muscles for the work that will be done during the exercise. It’s equally beneficial to stretch after a workout because it allows the body to stay flexible and less prone to injury.”

Mindful Stretching by the Lake: Find a serene spot by a lake or river and indulge in some mindful stretching to unwind and rejuvenate your body. Focus on deep, slow stretches that target tight muscles, and allow yourself to fully relax and let go of tension.

Tai chi in the Garden: Embrace the gentle movements of tai chi in a tranquil garden or green space. This ancient Chinese martial art promotes balance, flexibility, and mindfulness through controlled movements, making it the perfect outdoor activity for promoting overall well-being and harmony.

As the world awakens from its winter slumber, seize the opportunity to revitalize your fitness routine and embrace the splendor of spring with outdoor workouts. Whether you prefer heart-pumping cardio, strength-building exercises, or soul-nourishing practices, there are many ways to spring into fitness amidst nature’s beauty. So, step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and let the rejuvenating energy of spring inspire you on your fitness journey.