It is important to get some form of exercise every day. The rule of thumb is to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes every day. But no one said that has to be done on a treadmill or within the confines of a gym! With the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time to try getting your daily exercise in different ways and maybe a change of scenery. Here are some of our favorite ways to exercise outside this spring.
Take a Hike
With blooming trees and flowers starting to come out of their winter slumber, springtime is the perfect time to get some exercise by taking a scenic hike. Hiking provides a great workout because you’re walking on uneven terrain and inclines, making your muscles work harder than they would if you were walking on a treadmill. Use AllTrails to view different hiking trails in Cincinnati categorized by length and difficulty, featuring reviews and a star rating system to pick the best trails for your needs. Want to amp it up a little? Try running or biking the trail instead of walking to really work your muscles and increase your heart rate.
Kids are notorious for being fit and energetic. While part of that may be due to their high metabolism, it’s also partially because they’re always running around and playing different sports! Unleash your inner athlete and participate in some adult sports. The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati offers a variety of adult sports from basketball to volleyball and even martial arts! There are leagues and just open pick-up games for everyone to participate in. Get a total body workout without even feeling like you’re exercising. You don’t even have to play an organized game; head to the park with your kid and throw around a football or kick around a soccer ball to get your heart rate up and spend some quality time together.
Exercise Scavenger Hunt
Try this fun activity with the whole family! Decide a route for a walk around the neighborhood (or a park or hiking trail) and list five to ten bodyweight exercises (push-ups, jumping jacks, etc). Then, assign each exercise to something you might see on your walk, such as a park bench, a dog on a leash or a red car. Once you’re on your walk, make it a scavenger hunt to see which items you can find and each time someone finds one, everyone does 10 reps of the corresponding exercise. Keep tally of who finds the most items – they’re the winner at the end of the walk! This is a fun way to keep everyone engaged and present in the moment, plus you can include prizes at the end to add some friendly competition.
Ditch the Car
On a weekend or evening when you don’t have much to do, get outside and travel to a fun destination – without the car! Walk to your local Starbucks or donut shop on a Sunday morning or take a bike ride to get a little post-dinner frozen yogurt. You’ll have fun spending quality time with your family while getting outside and raising your heart rate. Plus, you’ll get a reward once you reach your destination to give you a little more motivation!
Try Something New
Springtime is the perfect time to try new activities. Go to a local body of water and try different water sports like stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking. These provide a core and arm workout, plus you get to soak up the time in the sun and the water. Or take a weekend trip and try your hand at rock climbing with a guided tour at multiple locations around Ohio. Get out of your comfort zone and into nature to really get your heart rate going, both from adrenaline and exercise!
Healthy living doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the weather warming up, it’s easier than ever to get moving and get outside to work towards a healthier lifestyle through exercise. The Y is here to help you achieve your goals and live a healthy life through our many exercise and wellness programs.
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