Fitness

New Activities For Spring

Try these great outdoor activities that require half the effort but offer twice the fun.

After a long, drawn out winter season, many Canadians are enjoying stepping outside to warmer weather and breathing in the fresh air of spring. If the idea of enjoying nature while partaking in outdoor recreation has you champing at the bit, try exploring the following physical activities that not only reap incredible health benefits, but get you fit in the process.  Here are four fun outdoor activities that are worth trying for beginners!

Gardening 
If you’ve ever been curious about growing your own plants, fruits or vegetables, why not work up a sweat and start the gardening process a few weeks early? Clear drainage ditches of leaves and debris from winter, set up new fence posts, rake the lawn, re-seed bare patches, and pull those weeds.  Gardening is exercise disguised as a hobby and for many people, a great way to relieve stress.  The use of functional movements such as squatting, bending, pulling, pushing, and lifting will work your legs and most of your upper body.  Not only will it make you physically stronger but enhance emotional feelings of well-being. 

Outdoor group fitness
It’s about that time of year when trainers gather their fitness troops and head to parks, pathways and hills.  Seeking out cycling, boot camp or other activity groups in your neighborhood is a fantastic way to work up a sweat in a friendly environment with like-minded individuals.  Some of the best fitness programs encompass overall body workouts which incinerate body fat, create lean muscle and leave you feeling empowered with newly discovered strength. 

Trail hiking
Besides the obvious perks of being in nature and seeing new places, most die-hard trekkers can thank bumpy trails and uphill climbs for their lean legs and perky buttocks.  While you don’t have to hike for hours a day to gain the strength and endurance benefits it provides, one hour twice a week will work out your calves, thighs, and glutes like never before. If you’d like to reduce strain on your knees during descents, trekking poles can be a great help and they also improve balance and establish a walking rhythm.

Tennis
Cardio, strength and agility are only three of the many health benefits in learning to play tennis.  Thanks to using your fast twitch muscle fibres, you can expect to see greater definition in your shoulders and thighs as well as increase your endurance with bouts of running up and down the court.  It’s a sport that requires minimal equipment and doesn’t have an ‘off season’ since it allows you to play both indoors during colder climate and outside in the spring and summertime.  Best of all, you can hone your skills with a friend while getting fit and having a few laughs in the process.