Sometimes winter can feel like it lasts forever. But eventually, we get to shed our winter coats and soak up that sun! Now that temperatures are warming up and the snow has all but disappeared, it’s the perfect time to take that exercise routine outside. (Or pick it up again, if you’re a winter hibernator!) Here are six low-impact exercises that will take you outside to enjoy the nice weather.
This is one of the simplest exercises you can find. All you need are comfortable shoes! There are so many ways that an exercise as simple as walking can help improve your health. It helps manage weight, lowers blood pressure, boosts your immune system, improves mood and sleep, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and so much more.
Technically, swimming is something you can do all year round. But it’s certainly a lot more enjoyable when you can do it outside, or at the very least leave the pool to step out into warm weather and sunshine. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that gives you the benefit of a strong aerobic workout without strenuous impact on joints. Swimming can improve your bone mass, reduce inflammation, and burns as many calories as running can. And that’s just to name a few major benefits to this super fun exercise. And if you swim in salt water, you get the added bonus of a skin treatment!
The most obvious benefit to practicing yoga is the relaxation it brings. According to this article from the American Osteopathic Association, “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.” This has a lot to do with the mental benefits of yoga. Practicing yoga gives you a calm and balanced mind, which reduces stress. In turn, this decreases the physical manifestations of stress. Yoga also increases flexibility, muscle strength, breathing, and helps to prevent injury.
Taking your yoga practice outside steps up the stress reduction even more. Being in nature helps refresh your energy, and it stimulates all the senses more than a studio setting can. So take your mat to your favourite park, or find a class in your area!
Nothing signals the coming of warm weather like bikes popping up on streets everywhere. Bike riding is one of the more strenuous exercises on the list, but hard work gets you many benefits. Bike riding takes your weight off your legs and instead puts it on the pelvis. This helps joint pain and stiffness. It also builds muscle and bone, and gives you a great aerobic workout! You may want to pick a comfort bike; one that allows you to sit up straight while holding high handlebars. This takes the strain off your back. There are several styles of bike to choose from, so you will have no problem finding just the right bike for you!
This one may seem surprising, as it’s a slow and low-impact activity. But golf is still a good way to get some exercise. Golf courses can span several kilometers, and walking from hole to hole can burn a lot of calories – especially if you’re carrying your clubs! It raises your heart rate, which lowers risk of heart disease, and increases brain function. It’s a low-risk injury sport that reduces stress by bringing you outdoors to interact with friends.
So now that the weather has started to turn around, it’s time to take your exercise outside to soak up that sunshine! Let the fresh air fill your lungs and help you get a deeper sleep. Get out there and celebrate the warm weather!