how to get a great workout outdoors {finding your sweet spot series- part 4}

This is part 4 of our {fitness on friday} series on finding your exercising “sweet spot.” Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you are just joining in!

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Today we’re talking about getting a great workout outdoors!

Did you ever notice how you can be feeling down, and then you step outside and spend a few minutes in the sunshine and everything seems better? Take that feeling and add endorphins to it, and you’ve got a magical formula- one you might even be able to call your exercising “sweet spot.”

To me, the biggest benefit of exercising outside is getting to breathe fresh air, soak in the sunshine and enjoy God’s wonderful creation. Ah, the joys of living in the world God made, right? :D

There are so many ways to burn calories in the great outdoors, and today I’m going to start with the most popular two: walking and running!

1. Walking

Walking is one of the most enjoyable exercising options out there- probably because it requires the least amount of exertion. If you are just beginning to exercise, this may be your perfect match. All you need is comfortable shoes and moving legs! :D

You can easily incorporate walking into your life on a daily basis. You could start with a morning stroll before your day begins, or do the same with a friend or spouse in the evening. Finding a walking companion keeps you accountable {the #1 motivation secret, remember? :)}, and makes your exercising time even more enjoyable.

If you are looking for more than just a stroll, and want to up the calorie burn, walk as fast as you can! I have a friend that was part of a walking club and they walked an incredible 5 miles per hour, which is faster than many people jog- and if you don’t believe me, try it- it will give you an amazing workout!

And to lift the heart rate even higher while walking, you could add light hand weights or ankle weights to increase the effectiveness of each walking session. Going up hills will strengthen your legs and raise your heart rate as well!

Believe it or not, you can get an amazing workout without ever doing high-impact moves like running or jumping!

Here are a few more resources if you’re interested in walking:

:: Mayo Clinic- walking benefits and tips
:: Start Walking Now- walking plans, community, events, and more
:: Ways to add 2000 Steps to Your Day- 30 ways to stop sitting still

2. Running

Running is another popular option for exercising outdoors. It’s a challenge whether you are just beginning or even a more advanced athlete- the intensity of running all depends on the speed and power with which you run.

If you are just starting to exercise and want to become a runner, the Couch to 5k plan works very well. You basically up the time you spend running or jogging during each workout, until you are running the full 3 mile distance without walking.

MP900409756Speaking of 5k races, setting a goals to run a race or fun run can give you the motivation to exercise consistently. If you are like me, having a goal makes you take the first step outside, and having a deadline keeps you on track.

Like walking, if you run with a friend or spouse and you are accountable to meet them at a certain time, you are less likely to skip your workout. And I know from personal experience, talking to a friend while jogging or running increases your cardiovascular fitness! There’s a reason they make soldiers sing while they run!

There are so many resources available if you are interested in running, but narrowed it down to two of my favorites for you:

:: Runner’s World: blogs, races, tips, and running shoe reviews. No matter if you’re a beginner or a marathon runner, they have something for you!
:: Cool Running- running logs, virtual trainers, and the creators of the Couch-to-5k.

Whether you are running, walking, or a mixture of the two, you can’t go wrong with your exercise if you’re enjoying the great outdoors at the same time!

So tell me, are you a runner? Or do you want to become one someday? I’m always so in awe of people that run, aren’t you? They have such discipline!

 

coming next Friday: more ideas on how to get a great workout outdoors!

Don’t forget- tomorrow begins our 31 days of thrifting and the October giveaway! Have a great weekend!!

*royalty-free stock images from Microsoft.com

1 comment

Sharon said...

Well I'd like to say I'm a runner...I TRY to be anyway!! :) I'd be more of a jogger. But while it's super duper incredibly hard, I really do love it. It's amazing. <3
http://runforyourlifefitness.blogspot.com