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A Solution for April Showers: Indoor and Outdoor Workouts

Spring and I had a volatile relationship for many years. As a longtime runner, I would look forward to replacing my winter treadmill workouts with runs along the waterfront, brisk walks through the neighborhood, and other forms of outdoor calorie burning. And each year, spring’s wild fluctuations in weather and temperature would foil my plans, but not this year. Instead of working against spring’s unpredictability, I’m going with the flow.

Last summer, a combination of curiosity and pragmatism nudged me to shake up my workout regimen. So, I took up yoga, which not only opened me up to a new world of fitness, but also taught me to be open-minded about my exercise regimen. I prefer to run outdoors, so now I feel free to do that when the weather allows. No more obligation to the boredom of the treadmill!

All of this comes together to land me here at the onset of spring and an opportunity to use my new outlook on working out. Since spring can’t decide when to be warm or cool, wet or dry, I’m heading into the season as a free agent. My only commitment is to make sure I’m ready to work out, whether in the house or outside.

If you’ve had a similar problem when spring arrives, check out these effective workouts for rain or shine!

When It’s Rainy: Indoor Workouts

If you haven’t heard of Cassey Ho, get in the know. She’s the creator of Blogilates, a popular YouTube channel. You can easily create countless full-body workouts from her hundreds of videos. Here are two to get you started. Do these videos in sequence for a great 30-minute indoor workout:

On to yoga. When it comes to free online workouts, Five Parks Yoga is where it’s at. Erin Sampson provides an excellent inventory of diverse yoga workouts. This yoga fit workout is a great rainy-day choice, providing cardio, stretching, and toning all in one!

 

When It’s Sunny: Outdoor Workouts

It’s a beautiful spring day and you’re ready to burst out the front door to burn some calories—but what to do? Easy answer: Use what you’ve got, be it in your yard or around the neighborhood.

Here are some easy moves that can create an effective 30-minute session of cardio and muscle toning.

  • Stairs (Two Minutes): Find a nearby flight, short or long. Run up and down as fast as you can.
  • 10 Pushups: Get down and give me ten! For even more resistance, do them at a decline using a bench or a step.
  • Jumping Jacks (One Minute)
  • Wide Squats with Tricep Extension (30 Seconds): Squat, but make sure your knees don’t extend past your ankles. While holding a weight or with empty hands, raise your arms straight above your head and then lower them backward to your shoulder blades each time you squat.
  • Long Jumps (30 Seconds): Stand tall with your feet together, squat slightly, and then jump as far as you can. Turn and quickly run in a half-circle to your starting point and repeat.
  • Crunches (One Minute): An oldie but goodie. Lie flat on the ground. Place your fingertips at the base of your skull and lift up your chest, putting as little stress on your neck as possible.
  • 10 Box Jumps: Find a wide step, a low wall or bench, or any wide, flat, stable object. Stand tall in front of your “box,” then squat slightly and use your legs and the momentum of your arms swinging backward to jump on top of it.
  • 10 Good Mornings: Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet slightly wider than your hips. Keeping your spine and neck neutral (not rounded or bent), bend over until parallel with the ground. Use your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes to lift yourself up to standing again. 

Repeat this full circuit as many times as you’d like, or 4 for a 32-minute workout.

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