Spring is here and now is the time to dust off the Winter hibernation and begin that exercise program that you have been promising yourself.
In Spring with the onset of warmer weather we suddenly get the urge to get out to the great outdoors. We can shed the Winter clothing and there is more daylight. We can go to work, do our exercise program and enjoy home time while still in daylight, whereas in Winter there is the feeling of being home and warm before dark, which generally puts any exercise program on hold. Even the idlest among us find it hard to resist the smell of Spring and the warmer air and sunshine, so now is the time.
Beginning the exercise program is the most difficult part., but the good news is that research has shown once you start a program you are quickly addicted to the wonderful feeling exercise produces. In as little as 10 days you can be on your way to enjoying the benefits of exercise.
Evidence shows that regular exercise;
·Helps increase levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.
·Can lower high blood pressure.
·Helps promote bone density
·Will boost the immune system
·Helps improve body composition by burning fat.
·Helps to promote healthy blood sugar levels
·Can even help to improve mood swings and can aid in reducing depression.
Exercising outdoors offers benefit to the body and the mind. Your senses will be drawn to your surroundings and for most people who are indoors all day this is refreshing. The crowds and noise of a gym can be avoided, you can experience the sounds, the air, the smells, textures and sights wherever you choose to take yourself.
It is important to start gently if you have been inactive over Winter. E.g. A moderate intensity walk of 30 minutes minimum 3 days a week is a good start and enough to bring about real benefits of promoting health. It is also enjoyable without being too difficult. As your stamina increases you can then increase your intensity for more health and fitness benefits.
When exercising out doors people need to be mindful of the weather, appropriate clothing, safety and hydration. It is important to tell someone if you are running or walking alone. Carry some personal information with you and know the route you are taking. Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses and carry a bottle of water. Wear clothing that breathes and allows you to move freely. If you have allergies be mindful of exercising in fields where there are grasses and weeds or exercising in heavy traffic areas or areas where there are chemicals. Asthmatics tend to exercise better by doing stop/start programs rather than continuous running. E.g Swimming is an excellent exercise for an asthmatic.
In my research I have looked for something different and have found that people do just about anything they do indoors for exercise outdoors as well. They walk, run, jump, skip, Nordic Pole Walk, Pole Dance, aerobic dance, Weights, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and more.
I then looked at alternatives for tackling your outdoor exercise program and thought maybe “By Your Star Sign”. This could be looked at anyway you wish. Most important is to find what suits you and move on outdoors do it and enjoy. Read on;
Aries; ( Fire Sign). Drink lots of Water. Outdoors is excellent for you.
Taurus; (Earth Sign). Vigorous gardening for the earthy bull.
Gemini; (Air sign) Beachside Yoga and deep breathing for you.
Cancer; (Water sign) Swimming for you.
Leo; (Fire sign) Dancing, running and burning the Leo energy.
Virgo; (Earth sign) Long walks to help calm the active mind.
Libra; (Air sign) Drink lots of water and exercise in the evenings.
Sagittarius; (Fire) Running, walking, horseback riding, tennis and archery.
Capricorn; (Earth) A natural climber. Rock climbing, walking and swimming.
Aquarius; (Air) Something unusual for you such as scuba diving, parachuting, gliding and surfing.
Pisces; (Water) Drink lots of water. Swimming and Tai Chi suit you.
Tips for Outdoor Exercise
(1) Set yourself some short and long term goals. Success will keep you on track and motivated.
(2)Keep a Diary. Note how far you ran, walked, swam. How high was your pulse? How did you feel?
(3) Visualise. Picture yourself walking, running etc and how you look and feel. These images and feelings will help to motivateyou to achieving them for real.
(4) Enjoy your chosen outdoor exercise. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. These chemicals are often known as ‘the happy hormones’ as they have a strong affect on your mood. They help reduce anxiety, stress and depression. So whenever you don’t feel like exercising, try to remind yourself how good you feel afterwards.
Jill HealyQuintard of Body and Balance Fitness and Wellness has been in the Health and Fitness Industry for many years and has studied extensively. She brings a Holistic Approach to all her Classes and Individual Programs. She teaches in Manly and Manly Vale and runs General Public Classes as well as School and Corporate in Pilates, YogaPilates Fusion, Studio, Groove Fusion, ZUMBA Dance Fitness, BODYBARRE Pilates, Pilates with ChiBall, Mums and Bubs Fitness and Baby Massage Classes.