There’s nothing like springtime to give you that extra burst of energy. With flowers in bloom and extra hours of daylight, you might find yourself emerging from your cozy winter cocoon ready to get outside. Why not channel all that fabulous motivation into a new, snazzy spring workout while you’re at it?
In fact, if you are looking for the best time for getting back in shape, this is the perfect time to switch up your same old winter routine. But the outdoors can be overwhelming and the possibilities endless. How do you choose the perfect workout for you?
From relaxing to intense, our exercise ideas will have you finding that spring fitness motivation in no time. Keep reading for ways to combine fresh workout ideas with fresh air.
Take Your Daily Walk to New Heights
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” replace “apple” with “walk,” and you’ll be right on track. A regular walking routine comes with numerous benefits including:1,2,3
- Improved health, specifically, lower risk levels for chronic illnesses such as heart disease or high cholesterol
- More energy by oxygenating your blood and increasing certain hormone levels for a motivation boost
- Greater creativity, removing mental blocks and getting your ideas flowing
What’s wonderful about springtime is that you have the opportunity to revamp your daily walk. Whether it’s those beautiful snow-capped peaks in the distance or your neighborhood hill covered with luscious green grass, nature is practically begging you to head out for a hike.
To turn your hike into one of your vacation workouts, follow these tips and tricks to get your heart pumping:
- Find uphill terrain – Spring fitness may take you outside, but prep work is essential. Before throwing on your trusty weather-resistant boots, check out the vertical distance for your hike. 500-800 feet per mile of elevation gain makes for a moderate hike, and anything greater than 800 feet—or sprinkled with plenty of steep, rough patches—will be strenuous.4
- Take a friend to keep pace – Inviting a friend along for your outing can be a fun and easy way to stay accountable and motivated. The two of you can set a challenging pace and cheer each other on through difficult terrain. But remember to communicate your intentions beforehand, or you might find yourself making unwanted stops at every scenic viewpoint.
- Run it out – If you want to step up your game, go for a trail run instead of a hike. What’s better than a full body spring workout next to breathtaking waterfalls and endless horizons? Remember that all trails are different, so the pace you set will depend on the terrain. Instead of timing yourself, focus on maintaining a consistent effort level from start to finish.5
Find Some New Places to HIIT It
When it comes to spring fitness ideas, another option is to stick with what’s working for you but to take it to a brand new location. This is especially true for high intensity interval training (HIIT), a type of exercise that alternates between intense levels of activity and brief periods of recovery.6
Whether you swear by HIIT or are just dipping your toes in, you’ll quickly find that one of the benefits of this type of exercise is that you can do it anywhere. So grab your running shoes (or walking sandals!), and take your high intensity interval training or HIIT to one of the following locations:
- In the sand – If you’ve ever tried running by the beach, then you’ll know what a welcome challenge a sandy surface can be. Compared to solid pavement, sand works your legs and feet more while engaging your core for balance.7 Level up the difficulty of your HIIT workout by doing jumping jacks, sprints, and high knees in the sand. Wearing men’s or women’s comfortable sandals can help you avoid injury.
- In the park – Rather than working out at the gym, find a park with calisthenics equipment and get moving. Focus on bodyweight exercises such as pull ups, bench dips, and burpees. Plus, HIIT exercises increase your oxygen intake post-workout, a perfect opportunity to take in the fresh air during your recovery walk around the park.8
- At altitude – Whether you’re spending a week in the mountains for a springtime getaway or just going for the day with friends, don’t forget to take advantage of the added elevation. High altitude means less oxygen, which will make your already strenuous HIIT workout even more intense. Shoot for at least 7,000 feet of vertical gain, if you really want to work up a sweat.9
Break Out the Bathing Suit
For those who love swimming but want a change from the routine drills and confinement of indoor pools, spring is the perfect time to try your hand at open water swimming, a form of swimming outside of constructed pools.10 Example scenarios include:
- A morning swim in the ocean on a bright sunny day
- A race from one end of a placid, blue lake to the other
- A quick dip in a river during an afternoon rafting trip
To bring maximum enjoyment to your open water swim, try these spring tips:
- Start slow – Whether you’re an experienced swimmer going for your first springtime dip or a novice getting your feet wet for the first time, it’s important to begin with shorter distances and easier conditions. The depth of natural bodies of water and the added complications of currents can require a period of adjustment that you might not want to skip over.
- Set a goal – Looking to turn that amazing sunset swim in the lake into a regular occurrence? There’s no better way than to create a workout routine and work toward a goal, such as a swim race or triathlon. Having a race on the horizon can motivate you to work more regularly toward your fitness goals.
- Safety first – Open water swimming comes with a diverse set of natural conditions you won’t find in the pool. It’s important to be prepared and knowledgeable about your surroundings. At a minimum, check the weather and water conditions beforehand and stay away from off-limit areas. Always bring a friend so you can check up on each other, as needed.11
Get into Your Flow with Some Yoga
Spring season means trying new things, heady adventures and precious, novel experiences. But to make the most out of the season, it’s important to be in the right state of mind. If you’re looking for that creative spark or a way to get centered, a springtime yoga practice might just have your name on it. The benefits of yoga include:12
- Greater balance and flexibility, so you’re ready to tackle outdoor adventures in diverse terrain
- Improved heart health, helping you walk and run longer distances across those blossoming fields
- A better mood, meaning you’re more present and appreciative of springtime wonders
Examples for how to jazz up your outdoor yoga routine include:
- Beginning a day full of adventures with sunrise yoga—perfect for bonding before the main activity
- Striking the warrior pose on a paddleboard in the middle of the lake, will engage those stabilizing muscles—and make for a fabulous picture
- Winding down the day with campfire yoga, activating your sense of hearing and touch to be more attuned to your surroundings
On the other hand, if you find yourself with barely a free moment as spring comes around the corner, yoga’s versatility makes it the ideal exercise to incorporate into your daily workout routine. Try the following tips and tricks:
- Keep it indoors – Even if you don’t have time during your lunch hour to make your way to the dreamy grass field in your favorite park, you can still take advantage of springtime yoga indoors. A room with large windows and copious natural light will do the trick. Make sure to find a quiet space that’s free from distractions where you can breathe easily.
- Use yoga as recovery – Another way to get your yoga fix is to add it to the end of your spring workout as an active recovery. Not only will yoga help you stretch out your muscles but it can also steady your breathing after some strenuous outdoor cardio.
Hop on Your Bike
Whether you’re taking your bike out for a spin around town or heading down some challenging mountain trails, stay free and fresh with a springtime bike ride. Nothing clears the head more than a cool, gentle breeze blowing past you as you pedal.
If you’re looking to get serious about your biking routine, try one of the following ways:
- Ditch your car for a bike – Start and end your day with some much-needed physical activity by switching out your car for a bike. Pedaling to work is an easy, no-fuss way to get moving on those days when you don’t seem to have a moment to spare. It will also help you build consistency in your fitness routine, the first step to a serious biking practice.
- Join a biking group – If you’ve ever looked forward to working out all week only to find yourself on your couch, feeling completely unmotivated when the time comes, you’re not alone. Stick to a regular biking schedule by joining a group that can encourage you to do so. You can also share in the joys of warmer weather together, competing in races and cheering each other on.
Vionic: Shoes to Keep You on the Move
With spring comes the perfect motivation to keep those New Years fitness goals going, and Vionic is here to help you reach your potential. From our stylish, supportive Vionic Beach line, our sturdy rubber-soled active sneakers, to our women’s slide sandals, Vionic shoes are ready for all your adventures, land or sea.
Blaze new trails in comfort and in style. Step into our innovative, comfortable footwear today.
- Steinhilber, Brianna. “Why walking is the most underrated form of exercise.” Better. Updated 4 May, 2018. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-walking-most-underrated-form-exercise-ncna797271
- Chertoff, Jane. “What Are the Benefits of Walking?” Healthline. 8 November, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-walking
- Oppezzo, Marily, and Daniel L Schwartz. “Give your ideas some legs: the positive effect of walking on creative thinking.” Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition vol. 40,4 (2014): 1142-52. doi:10.1037/a0036577
- “Difficulty rating system.” SVM. https://www.history.swannanoavalleymuseum.org/hike-series/difficulty-rating-system/
- “10 Tips For Trail Running Beginners.” Trail Runner Mag. 7 July, 2021. https://www.trailrunnermag.com/training/10-tips-for-trail-running-beginners
- Gold, Marissa et Sgabba, Christa. “What Is HIIT, and How Can It Improve Your Workouts?” Self. 3 January, 2021. https://www.self.com/story/what-is-high-intensity-interval-training-benefits
- Wingenfeld, Sacha. “Running on the beach: you’ve got to try it!” Runtastic. 27 August, 2019. https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/benefits-of-running-on-the-beach/#:~:text=Compared%20to%20running%20on%20pavement,compensate%20for%20the%20uneven%20surface.
- Schleppenbach, Lindsay N et al. “Speed- and Circuit-Based High-Intensity Interval Training on Recovery Oxygen Consumption.” International journal of exercise science vol. 10,7 942-953. 1 Nov. 2017
- Nunez, Kirsten. “All About High Altitude Fitness Training.” Healthline. 2 December, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/altitude-training#:~:text=In%20sports%2C%20high%20altitude%20typically,to%20the%20lack%20of%20oxygen.
- “An introduction to open water swimming.” Swimming. https://www.swimming.org/openwater/open-water-swimming-explained/
- “10 Open Water Safety Tips.” NDPA. https://ndpa.org/10-open-water-safety-tips/
- !9 Benefits of Yoga.” Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/9-benefits-of-yoga