We’ve survived the short, cold days of winter, and springtime is just around the corner. Although my whole family enjoys working out in a gym, we have even more fun when we can workout outside. Now that the days are longer, the weather warmer, and things are starting to bloom, it’s time to make the great outdoors your new gym. Here are some ideas for taking your workout outside.
- Go for a walk, jog, hike, or run on an unpaved trail in the woods. The golf cart paths of Peachtree City, Tyrone, and Fayetteville are nice, but trails are more fun. You also get a better physical workout than pounding the concrete due to the uneven terrain, which helps build core strength, stability, and balance. You might already be familiar with the Line Creek Nature Area in Peachtree City, but did you know that our local Southern Conservation Trust manages six nearby nature areas? You can find out more about these areas, including maps and descriptions, on their new website at http://sctlandtrust.org.
- Get a total body workout on a nearby fitness trail. Several of our area parks have trails and fitness stations where you can walk/run from station to station and do things like push-ups, sit-ups, dips, pull-ups, balance bar, and other activities. There’s a short fitness trail at Patriot Park on Redwine Road near Kiwanis Park, a longer fitness trail at Lake Horton Park, and another near Braelinn Recreation Center. Contact Fayette County Parks & Recreation and Peachtree City for more information on park locations and facilities.
- Visit your local track for some sprints. There’s a public track at Riley Field in Peachtree City, one at McCurry Park in Fayetteville, and another at Kenwood Park in north Fayette County. Many of our area schools have open tracks. Create your own workout where you run a lap hard, then walk a recovery lap. Some tracks are in stadiums, where you can always run the steps and challenge yourself.
- Be like a child and go to a playground. There are too many playgrounds to list in this article, but suffice it to say that we have no shortage of public playgrounds in our community. Make up your own workout using the playground equipment as your gym apparatus. Monkey bars, swings, ladders, play forts, benches and other playground equipment can be used for some creative exercises. Bring a simple resistance band, loop it around a swing set, and you can do your own TRX- style or other gym equipment-inspired workout.
- Set-up your own workout studio in a big open field. Who needs mirrors, stereo systems, and wooden floors when you can have a nice grass floor and big blue sky up above? Bring a mat or towel and enjoy Pilates or other flexibility and core-strengthening movements outside. Find some friends and do your own boot-camp inspired workout – push-ups, burpees, squats, and other calisthenics. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
- Do yard work for yourself or as a volunteer for a worthy cause. A great way to burn calories, enjoy the outdoors, and be productive is good old-fashioned yard work – landscaping, gardening, cutting the grass, and other outdoor activities. Yard work provides for a full body workout, and you have the satisfaction of accomplishing items on your spring to-do list.
As a family, we try to get outside as much as we can, and you should, too. Besides the physical benefits of exercise, there are the therapeutic benefits of fresh air and natural beauty. Read more about our family fitness adventures and get some practical tips by visiting my new blog. We’re also on Facebook. We hope to see you out and about enjoying your new outdoor gym this spring.