Here are the top 5 Spring Exercises for getting your winter body into tip-top spring shape. You will be ready for tank tops, shorts and swimsuits in record time:
- Running – to get your cardio going, you should try doing about 20 minutes three to five days every week. You can start out in your own neighborhood, use the local track or a park in the area. Most people find that it is more enjoyable if they change the location on a regular basis, and if they run somewhere with some pleasant scenery. Over time, build your way up to 30 minutes to an hour. This is a real calorie burner! If you cannot run, a nice brisk walk for 30 minutes to an hour, 5 days a week is a great substitute.
- Crunches – the abs are one of the biggest struggles to flatten down, but if you do those crunches every day, and do them properly, you’ll soon find that they are complementing your other efforts and will begin to look much more toned within a matter of weeks. Mix it up occasionally with a set of planks 1 – 2 times a week to really wake up your core.
- Bicep curls – Use the maximum set of dumbbells that you can lift, keep your arms close to your body the whole time. 2 – 3 sets of 15 – 20 reps will have your arms looking shapely and fit.
- Tricep curls – a fully toned arm means that you must work the back of the arm too. Lean forward slightly, and keep your arm close to your body but extend your elbow back slightly behind you. Use a weight that challenges you but one you are able to control.
- Squats – the lower body can greatly benefit from squats, this will help tone and shape up your hips, butt, hamstrings, and quads.
Time to put the winter blues away and shake up your routine at the same time. Try out some of these exercises that will get you outdoors and have you enjoying this beautiful spring weather as you get healthier:
- Hit the Trail—No matter where you live, there’s most likely a great nature trail within reasonable driving distance. Whether a state park, a city trail, or the woods in your own back yard, find a piece of land to explore. If a moderate walk is all you can handle now, that’s fine … as your fitness improves, you can work on jogging and scout out more challenging terrain. Hiking and trail-running are great for cardio, strength and toning. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water!
- Go to Court—basketball or tennis court, that is! Tennis and basketball are excellent total-body workouts that also just happen to be tons of fun. Enlist a friend to double the fun, but don’t feel as though you can’t enjoy this powerful exercise if you’re solo.
- Jump in a Lake—or a pool, or the ocean. Swimming is a powerful aerobic exercise that is extremely gentle on your joints. Aside from swimming laps, you can use the shallow end of the pool to perform leg lifts, lunges and many other moves. The water provides resistance for zero-impact strength training, and you’ve got a built-in cooling system to protect you from overheating.
- Get Down and Dirty—this is the time of year when annual plants should go in the ground if you plan on having a garden. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flower garden or a vegetable garden … it’s time to plant. The good news is gardening is actually a killer core exercise with all its required bending and twisting. Plus it can provide you with extra rewards too: beautiful floral scenery to enjoy as well as nutritious foods that you can enjoy all through the spring and summer.
- Pedal to the Metal—Go for a ride to get that heart pumping by breaking out your trusty bicycle.
- Giddy up!—Along with being completely joyful and surprisingly freeing, horseback riding can do some serious favors for your inner thighs and rear end as you squeeze to hold on to the saddle. If you prefer to go at it bareback, you’ll intensify the workout in those areas while adding in some respectable core engagement, too!
- Sail the Seven Seas—or your local river or lake. Canoeing, kayaking and sailing are all amazing workouts for the upper body and core.
- Kick It Old School—Jumping Rope or Hopscotch can be wonderful outdoor workouts. You’ll engage your core as you bend down to collect the stone to toss, and you’ll work on some aerobics and leg muscles as you hop and struggle to maintain balance. Jumping rope will take your cardio to the next level as well as awaken your inner child.
- Spruce up the House—All of those exterior home projects you’ve been talking about doing but couldn’t because of the weather are ready and waiting. Whether washing the windows, putting on a fresh coat of paint, revamping the decks, cleaning out the gutters, or any other of other home maintenance and improvement tasks, you can get a killer total body workout while increasing your home’s value.
So get out there and have some fun this spring and enjoy the healthy benefits along the way!
Bodyrich Fitness Company
Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist