By Paul Hunter
Fitness goals typically accelerate when spring weather arrives, so as the air warms and the sun shines longer, head outdoors for some fitness fun. Opportunity for fitness avails itself everywhere, you just have to be willing to notice the opportunities and get up and go!
Sidewalks are a great place to start if the couch has been too good of a friend. Walking with a companion or listening to your favorite tunes or audio book is a great way to enjoy the spring weather. Pay attention to your stride, your pace, and your foot placement. Squeeze the glutes, stand tall, and tilt those hips for a straighter spine so you can lead each step with a powerful core. After a couple of weeks, add a little circuit training and dynamic stretching to the walk by including walking prisoner lunges (holding your hand behind you head while you progress into a lunge), high knee forward steps (like running with high knees but, you are walking while maintaining your balance), walking while kicking your heel back to your glutes (rear-end) and a quick jog. Try 5-10 reps per side of each exercise every 2-3 minutes. Within 2-3 weeks you’ll be feeling stronger with more energy and can continue to pick up the pace as you gain joint and cardiovascular strength.
Beach days don’t have to be about a chair, an umbrella, and a nap. Now that you’re feeling stronger, challenge yourself with a 10 minute walk and lung combination in the deep sand. Add upper body conditioning by digging a hole with the kids, or building a sand castle…and make sure you are the one carting the buckets of water back and forth. When the water warms and you find your self waist high in the Gulf, try your own version of Water Aerobics. Stand on one leg and swing the other forward and backward using the water resistance for both balance and power. Do the same with your hands as you paddle you hands forward and backward. Finally, try something new. Stand up paddle boarding has become very accessible at our beaches. Beach services along the coast rent boards, so when the water is flat, grab a board and discover the benefits of fitness when you realize that the little bit of work you’ve put into yourself translates into a whole new world of activities.
Bike and hiking trails are plentiful in our area and a great way to add to your outdoor experience away from the sandy beaches. Load up the family or invite a friend, and remember to pack a lunch, water and the binoculars to take full advantage of the benefits and enjoyment of being outdoors.
Bike and hiking trails are plentiful in our area and a great way to add to your outdoor experience away from the sandy beaches. Whether an experienced hiker or a newbie to venturing out, search for websites like funforemeraldcoastkids.com to find and enjoy new trails. Load up the family or invite a friend, and remember to pack a lunch, water and the binoculars to take full advantage of the benefits and enjoyment of being outdoors.
Staying active is a key ingredient to staying young. Fitness is a lifestyle that allows you to live stronger. So accelerate your activity everyday and enjoy the warm air and sunshine in a whole new way.
Make it a great day!