Friday, February 18, 2011

What is a new outdoor activity you can try this spring summer?

Anyone who has been living in a cold climate the past few months is most likely itching to get outdoors. Sometimes it is hard to get motivated though, when you just can't think of what you want to do. Here are some ideas from free- cheap to get you out and moving! Not only will you get extra quality time with your family, you'll burn calories and get some much needed vitamin D. Don't see one of your favorite activities on the list? Add it in the comments below or e-mail me at

Mow the yard. Not your idea of a spectacular spring day? CLICK THIS FUN LITTLE GADGET to see an estimate of just how many calories you will burn! Not only will your neighbors (and yard!) thank you, that shiny new bathing suit wont look near as intimidating!

Play Tennis. Feeling far from a pro? When I play tennis I look like an accident. But boy is it fun! This game is very versatile because many courts are lit at dawn/dusk which gives you a lot more flexibility on play time. Using the rain as an excuse to miss a match? Head to your local community center to play indoors! CLICK HERE to compute calories burned. Looks like I'll burn about 400 calories in an hour long game. Look out Serena!

Shoot some Hoops. Never an excuse not to play basketball. Feeling slow and heavy? You sound perfect to play center! Tired? The adrenaline of 1 on 1 (or even horse) is sure to get your blood pumping. Much like tennis, there are no shortages of courts (indoor and outdoor) in most cities. Having a hard time getting a court to yourself? See if you can join in a pick up game, that will push you even harder to play your best, and to play hard! CLICK HERE to see the difference in calories burned between shooting baskets, playing a game, or officiating! Guaranteed they're all more than calories burned sitting still. By the time you get done jumping and stretching to block shots, not to mention sprinting to get rebounds and catch passes, you'll be the flyest guy or gal at the pool :)

Play Volleyball. This is a great "intro" sport for the self-proclaimed non athlete. There's little to no running and it's a team sport. Don't have a whole team together? You and a pal can hone in on your skills as you practice bumping, setting, and spiking together. No pal? Practice against the side of your house (or the house of an ex you are trying to annoy!) Before you know it your legs will be toned from crouching, and your arms in show condition! CLICK HERE to input your weight, alloted time frame and see just how skinny your little body is going to get!

Take a Walk. For the love of all that is exercise, if you do nothing else, please start with walking. No need to Forest Gump it across the nation, just start where you can, doing what you can. This doesn't mean refrain from pushing yourself, just start with a goal that you can accomplish and that will encourage you to continue. Find a landmark near your house that would be a huge goal for you to meet. Drive  by one day and see just how far it is. Make that your "final walk" in a month, 6 months, or a year. Take the distance, and break it down into attainable goals (i.e. 6 mile mark? If you're shooting for a 6 mile walk in 6 months, start with a mile, and add a mile every month). Goals are a critical part of anything worth accomplishing. For $1 you can purchase a pedometer to tell you just how far you've gone, how many calories you've burned, etc. Many phones now a days have an "app for that" with even more details.

You may be thinking, wow, those weren't very creative, everyone knows about those sports. And it's true, I have, of course, listed a very limited amount of things you can do as it starts to warm up outdoors. The important thing is, start somewhere. Ride a bike or try canoeing. Don't like traditional exercise? Sign up for a dance class, or take horse back riding lessons. If you are learning something new, you may be more inclined to stick with it. If you are a group person, check out any community/local magazine that are filled with co-ed groups and teams in just about anything (from ultimate Frisbee to dog walking). There is an accountability that comes with someone knowing you didn't show up one day, or letting your team down. The bottom line is, there is literally some type of exercise for everyone (stroller fitness class for Mom's anyone?) Find it, get into it, and love it. Make it the favorite part of your day. If you throw yourself (and heart) into it, you may be shocked at just what an athlete you are! Remember, regardless of whether or not you're signing autographs as you walk off of the courts, getting, and staying fit, is one of the greatest gifts in the world, and only you can give it to yourself and your family!

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