There’s nothing more refreshing than going outside to enjoy the sun and get some fresh air as the temperatures rise. Maintaining a regular workout routine is a vital part of a healthy, active aging lifestyle. So, why not use time outdoors to get some exercise?
There are many easy, fun, and creative ways to get in a workout with things you have at home or even in your backyard. To help you get started, here are some ideas for how to get moving outdoors at home.
Always discuss any new exercise or fitness routines with your doctor and follow any restrictions your individual physical or medical circumstances require.
Walking around your backyard or through your neighborhood is a low-impact exercise with a myriad of health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, taking a brisk daily walk strengthens bones and muscles, boosts your mood, improves your coordination and balance, reduces heart disease risk, and more.
With all exercise, start slowly. If you can only walk five minutes at a time, that’s fine! You can add more time as walking gets easier and your stamina improves.
Do Yard Work
If you’re able, keeping up with yard work adds minutes to your daily exercise log. For instance, pushing a self-propelled lawnmower around the yard to cut the grass keeps you walking instead of sitting on a riding mower. Raking, trimming shrubs, or using the weed whacker engages multiple arm and leg muscles. Always know your physical limits and take breaks or get help if you do any task that seems too hard.
Logan Eckels, a health coach at The Health Plan, says bicycling is another great outdoor activity.
“Cycling is a great, low-impact exercise you can do to get some exercise outside,” Ecels said. “Grab a friend and take a ride on your local bike path or explore a new trail and take in the scenery. If you live in town, try taking your bike to run an errand instead of your car. Remember to always wear a helmet and proper attire when riding your bicycle.”
Play Outdoor Games
Playing outdoor games with your family or friends is a fun way to get in a workout. Play catch with your children or grandchildren, toss a ball to your dog, play shuffleboard, yard Yahtzee, ladder ball, or cornhole with friends. Playing games helps you stay physically active and sharpens your mind as you plot winning strategies along the way.
Work Out on an Exercise Mat or Do Yoga
If weather permits, it’s nice to bring some light exercise equipment outdoors. Doing leg lifts, crunches, pushups, or jumping jacks on an exercise mat allows you to work your muscles and soak up some natural vitamin D from the sun. Doing yoga in the backyard is a good way to relax, find your center, and physically assume various yoga positions.
Give Patio Chairs a New Purpose
Instead of sitting down in your patio chair, use it to exercise or stretch. Tie one end of a resistance band to the chair and pull it out and back in to strengthen your arms. You can also stretch your arms, legs, and back. Outside Online shows simple chair stretches you can do in a short, 10-minute routine.
Try Tree Exercises
A tall and sturdy tree in your yard makes a fantastic exercise anchor. If you’re able, rest your back against a tree trunk and do a series of squats or knee bends. Or face the tree, place your palms on it with outstretched arms and do a series of pushups. Livestrong has a 20-minute Tree Workout list.
Doing any of these outdoor exercises will help you stay active as you age and help keep you on the road to good health!
Active Aging is presented by The Health Plan. Established as a community health organization, The Health Plan delivers a clinically-driven, technology-enhanced, customer-focused platform by developing and implementing products and services that manage and improve the health and well-being of our members. We achieve these results through a team of healthcare professionals and partners across our community.