Best Workouts to Try This Spring
As spring ushers in warm weather, longer days, and a fresh start, it's the perfect time to revamp your workout routine. We maintain that the best exercise is the one you enjoy doing. However, trying new workouts offers several benefits.
By switching up your routine, you'll prevent overuse injuries, use new muscles, and break out of any performance plateaus you may experience. Trying new things boosts confidence and keeps your brain healthy. That doesn't mean you have to give up your beloved spin class. You can keep your favorites while still branching out.
Give Yourself a Boost
Those early days of restarting a workout routine can be difficult. While your mind may want to be outside exercising, your body may miss lounging on the couch. Incorporating supplements like Quality of Life's Oligonol® may give you the boost you need to get moving.
Oligonol® combines the health benefits of the lychee fruit with those of green tea leaf extract.* The result is vitamins, potassium, and powerful antioxidants that offer everything from increased energy and circulation to youthful-looking skin.*
In addition, Oligonol® may regulate the body's post-workout cortisol levels and balance the body's inflammatory response.* The benefits of Oligonol® provide the perfect complement to a new or revised workout routine.
Take It Outside
Spring's budding flowers and leafing trees make it feel like the world is ready for a fresh start. If you've spent the winter hibernating, it's time to re-emerge. Incorporating outdoor workouts offers more benefits than just an accelerated heart rate.
Spending more time outside can reset your internal clock. Research shows that morning light can boost your alertness and reaction times and help reset your circadian rhythm, allowing you to sleep better and with fewer disturbances.
If the spring weather inspires you to restart a formerly dormant workout routine, it's best to ease in slowly. Start with walking or riding a bike outside. Simply feeling the sun on your skin and a spring breeze can inspire you to ramp up your intensity or try something new.
Hit the Playground
It can be hard to consider your options beyond walking, running, and biking when you're considering outdoor exercise. However, with a bit of creativity, you can get all of the perks of being outside and the intensity of gym-style circuit training. You just need to hit the playground.
To create your own playground circuit, try this routine:
First, start with a 5-minute jog or brisk walk around the park to warm up your muscles. Next, work through some dynamic stretches to fire up your muscles and improve flexibility. Some examples to try include:
- Walking lunges
- Trunk twists
- Arm circles
- Calf raises
- Shoulder rolls
Dynamic stretches should never be painful but aim to use your whole range of motion. If you're experiencing pain in your dynamic stretches, you may be pushing too hard. Instead, start with smaller movements and work your way up.
Create a Circuit
Create a circuit workout by picking four or five different moves and performing each for 30 seconds before switching to the next. Give yourself a 10-15 second break in between.
Upper body moves you can use include:
- Use a monkey bar or similar to do pull-ups
- Using a bench, do incline push-ups with your feet on the bench's seat, and your hands on the ground
- For a less intense option of the above, switch to bench push-ups, with your hands on the seat and feet on the ground
- Facing outward on a bench, place your hands on the edge with your arms straight and knees at 90 degrees, then bend your elbows until they're at 90 degrees, and straighten
- Head back to the monkey bars and recapture your youth by traveling back and forth
For your lower body, try these moves:
- Find a bench or retaining wall, and place one foot on the wall, then push up with that leg bringing the opposite knee to the chest
- With one foot on the bottom of the slide, step forward into a lunge
- Find a low wall or even just a line on the ground and jump sideways over it, landing with both feet
- Standing in front of a bench, alternate tapping the seat of the bench with your toes as fast as possible
- Anywhere you have space, starting in a squat position, with your arms positioned behind you, explode into a jump, throwing your hands in the air, and land with knees bent
Finally, for core strength, try these:
- Placing one foot in a swing, hold a plank
- While hanging from monkey bars, tuck knees to chest
If you have kids, they'll most likely want to follow your lead. So you can easily make your playground workout a family affair.
Take a Hike
Hiking is a great way to exercise and immerse yourself in nature. Hiking is also a powerful cardio workout that strengthens your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors.
If you're looking to take your hike to the next level, make sure you incorporate hills and uneven terrain. Even a 5 or 10% grade hill can lead to a 30-40% increase in calorie burn. Additionally, rough terrain allows you to use your core and improve your balance and stability.
Join a Team
Adult sports leagues offer a great way to meet new people and incorporate new exercises into your routine. Most areas provide recreation centers or YMCAs with leagues for various sports, including kickball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and more.
You can join a team or make your own. Schedule a weekly pickup game with friends if an official league is too structured for your tastes.
The downside of exercising as an adult is the risk of injury. Over time, our bodies' cartilage begins to wear down, making our joint movement less comfortable. Quality of Life's Cartiflex® works to keep your joints moving smoothly with collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin.*
Cartiflex® uses patented BioCell Collagen to cushion and lubricate the joints, improving flexibility and mobility and promoting a more active lifestyle.*
Spring is the perfect time to branch out and try something new in your exercise routine. Branching out and discovering a new outside exercise can improve your physical and mental health and leave you looking and feeling your best.