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By Letshego Zulu


Time to spring into fitness

With the sun shining and pleasant temperatures, it's a great moment to reenergize your fitness routine and make the most of the outdoors.

Spring symbolises a fresh start. If you’re looking for fun ways to spruce up your workout routine, spring is a perfect time to do it. It’s also a time when the weather starts warming up, so you can head outdoors after a long cold winter.

Walking, running or hiking

These are classic forms of cardio. When spring comes around, it may be warm enough to take your cardio outside.

If you live near walking trails or mountains, you can turn your walk into an uphill hike. This will really get your heart rate up.

Start slowly if you’re a beginner, you don’t have to jump right into sprints. A brisk walk is plenty of movement.

It is associated with ample health benefits like lower blood pressure, cholesterol and a resting heart rate. It’s also a good form of exercise if you have weight management goals. Walking is also a family friendly activity you can do at lunchtime or after dinner.

Multiracial women doing outdoor yoga exercise. Picture: iStock
Spring presents a perfect time to get fit outdoors and be at one with nature at the same time Picture: iStock

Outdoor yoga

Yoga is a perfect exercise to take outdoors. It’s also gentle enough for those beginners who did not manage to get much exercise during winter.

If you’re looking for a low-impact workout to kick-start your spring exercise routine, yoga may be a good choice. It benefits the mind and body, strengthens muscles, improves flexibility and reduces stress. Yoga blocks and straps can help to improve flexibility and stability, but they’re not required.

Taking your yoga outdoors is also a good way to get closer to nature. There are some yoga classes held outdoors, but you don’t have to attend a class to benefit.

Simply find a tranquil spot under a tree or on a grassy hill to increase your awareness of nature. This can also be a good way to incorporate mindfulness.

Doing the same workout every day can get boring really quickly. One way to shake things up in spring is by getting your family and friends to go through different circuits with you.

These can be done in your backyard or at the park. Some parks have workout stations where you can perform different exercises including pull-ups, push-ups and seated rowing. But circuits don’t always have to include equipment. Functional body exercises can also be part of the routine.

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Personal trainer leading exercise class with mature women in gym. Picture: iStock
A personal trainer leads an exercise class with mature women in gym. Picture: iStock

Exercises that can be part of the circuit

Upper body: Pull-ups, push-ups, triceps dips, arm circles.

Core: Planks, crunches, mountain climbers, burpees, supermans.

Lower body: Squats, lunges, step-ups, donkey kicks, glute bridges. If you want to incorporate weights into your circuits, try exercises using dumbbells or ankle weights.

Playing catch with a rugby ball, shooting hoops and running drills can also be great forms of exercise. All you have to do is to grab a buddy and pick a sport.

Choose classics like soccer or try something like padel. Playing a sport is not only good exercise, it’s an opportunity to socialise and get some fresh air.

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