Opt Outside This Spring

Fitness should be something you love and look forward to doing five to six times a week. It shouldn’t feel like a burden or something you dread.

I know the idea of going to a gym or even hitting “play” on a streaming service is a challenge for some people because not everyone enjoys structured workout plans or programs. And with social distancing due to COVID-19, gyms are out of the question anyway.

Thankfully, there are so many other opportunities to get your sweat on outside, especially as the weather gets nicer. (And for those of you in cold and snowy weather, you still have a lot of options for getting outside and being active.) Of course, being active doesn’t have to be strenuous or take hours each week. It can be simple and fun for everyone.

Opt Outside with Family

Family time outside can vary widely depending on the size of your family and the ages of your kids. Here are just a few activities that your family might enjoy.

  • Take a stroll. A walk around the neighborhood, around a high school track, through a park or on the trails is a great way to get outside and explore. Depending on the terrain, length and speed of the walk, you can make this work for everyone.
  • Go geocaching. Download a geocache app to your phone and head out to find little treasures hidden just about anywhere. Most apps are free or low-cost and geocaching can be fun for all ages. Just look out for wildlife if you’re going out into the wilderness.
  • Take a bike ride. Biking doesn’t have to mean a 22 mph ride for 50 miles. It can be as simple as riding to pick up your favorite takeout, go for a small grocery store run or to visit the grandparents.
  • Throw some frisbees. Frisbee golf or traditional frisbee or beach games are fun almost year-round for all ages. You can play in your own backyard or at a local park.
  • Play hopscotch or start a family dance party with an outdoor speaker.

Opt Outside with Friends (at a distance)

If your kids are older or you want to find some fun activities to do with adult friends outside, you still have loads of options.

  • Kayaking and paddleboarding. Kayaking is a fun sport year-round in most areas and a great upper body workout. Paddleboarding is fun when it’s warmer, in case you lose balance and fall into the water. But it’s great for full-body exercise, especially the core.
  • Find an obstacle course. In Arizona, we have Flagstaff Extreme Adventure, an outdoor, in-the-trees obstacle course, complete with rope swings and zip lines. It’s a tough challenge for even the fittest in your family.
  • Take a challenging hike. I’m lucky to live in one of the most beautiful areas, with amazing mountain trails in every corner of the state. While some of these are perfect for the whole family, some trails are better suited for adults with some hiking experience.
  • Outdoor fitness classes. Check out Meetup.com for outdoor boot camp or yoga classes and other activities where you can both meet new people and get a great workout in.

Opt Outside Solo

Some people like to use outdoor time as their “me” time, finding fun activities to do on their own while enjoying the great outdoors.

  • Stream your workout. I do love streaming my Beachbody workouts, and when the weather is great I can work out in my backyard.
  • Go for a run. Running is a fun social activity, but sometimes it’s nice to challenge yourself to a run on your own. You can go any pace you like, for as long as you like. Just be sure you let someone know where you’re running and when to expect you back. (Safety first!)
  • Grow a garden. Most people don’t consider gardening to be a strenuous activity, but it really can be exercise. Especially if you’re just getting started and have to haul soil and build garden beds. As a bonus, you’ll end up with the fixings for delicious salads in a few months.
  • Practice your backhand. I love a great game of tennis, but I can also hit the ball against the wall at the courts to practice certain swings and some footwork. It’s not as much fun as a competition, but practice is necessary too!

No matter what you do or who you do it with, I encourage you to find ways to move your body regularly, especially in this time of social isolation. It’s good for your mind, body and soul.

I am a 44-year old married mom of 4. I love my family. If you’re a mom, then you know kids and a spouse keep you busy. It’s easy to forget yourself in the process of taking care of your family. My mission is to help other moms take care of themselves so they can be more available to their loved ones and lead more fulfilling lives.

Comments are closed.