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Step it Up for Spring

running outside

After this winter, and what feels like another cold stretch cooped up inside, we never thought warm weather would come. However, spring has finally arrived! As the weather warms up, you can take some of your indoor fitness routines outside and get some much-needed Vitamin D. Here are just a few ways you can change it up:

  1. Walk/jog/run/bike Any of these cardiovascular activities can help boost your workout. About 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week can be a great part of your routine. Switch out the treadmill for a jog in the park or ride your bike along the river. Make yourself a great playlist to pass the time and motivate you.
  2. Squats Find a bench in a park and squat so your bottom gently touches the seat and stand back up. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, making sure that your knees never go beyond your toes.
  3. Lunges Outside you can do a lunge walk and are not limited to small areas of your gym. Take a large step forward and lower yourself so both knees are about 90 degrees. Do 10 repetitions on each leg, making sure your front knee does not go beyond your toes. You can increase the challenge by twisting your trunk after you lunge forward, to engage more of your abdominal oblique muscles. Switch it up on occasion with a back or side lunge.
  4. Push-ups A great body weight exercise to help strengthen your arms and back! Find a park bench or rail and place arms shoulder width apart. Keep your body tight and straight. Challenge yourself each time you go out to see if you can do more than the last time. If you want more of challenge, do your push-ups in a grassy area on the ground.
  5. Triceps dips Start out sitting on a park bench, with your hands on either side of you holding the edge of the seat. Shift your body forward so that your hips leave the surface of the bench. Bring your legs straight out in front of you and slowly lower yourself down, using your arms until you have about a 90-degree angle at the elbows. Straighten your arms to push your body back up. These are hard at first, but by summertime they will be a breeze.

Keep your core tight throughout each of the exercises. Make sure that you’re focusing on quality over quantity, and not sacrificing form. Give the gym a little break, get outside in the warmer weather, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Reviewed on December 10, 2020

Katherine Wilson, physical therapist

Katherine Wilson is the manager of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Center at HSS Rehabilitation and Performance.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.