Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Chuzers! You may be planning some Irish-themed festivities in honor of this lucky day. While putting on your green gear and planning your day, be sure to include a few fitness-related activities as well. To help with the planning, here are some suggestions for green workouts – or outdoor workouts – perfect for getting you outside this St. Patrick’s Day.
Workouts at the Park
For a simple green workout that requires very little planning and no special equipment, head over to your local park! In addition to a brisk walk or run in the fresh air, you can make use of your surroundings with these green workout exercises:
- Park Bench Push-ups – For a twist on an old favorite, find a handy park bench and do a few push-ups with your hands on the seat of the bench rather than on the ground.
- Step-ups – You can stick with the park bench or find a nice high curb and work on your leg muscles by stepping up and down, switching which foot leads each time.
Dust off that bicycle and go for a ride this month. See if your town has any dedicated bike lanes or trails or head out of town to enjoy some natural time.
Cycling is among the most popular green workouts. In additional to the pure fun of riding a bike in the fresh air, there are plenty of health benefits of outdoor cycling that mirror indoor cycling benefits. Cycling is a great cardio workout – meaning it helps keep your heart healthy. It also builds muscle – primarily in your legs, and burns a lot of calories, so it can help you to lose weight if that is one of your fitness goals.
For a little fun on the water, take a drive out to the nearest lake and enjoy a kayaking expedition. This upper body workout targets your shoulders, back, chest, arms, hands, and abdomen. Like cycling, it gets the heart pumping, so it counts as good cardio as well. And, it makes for a fun day out on the lake, which is always good for reducing stress.
To revel in the peace and beauty of the great outdoors, while stretching and toning your muscles, give hiking a try. Hiking is one of the green workouts that will build your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, as well as strengthen the muscles in your hips, lower legs, and core. As with any other workout, you will want to warm up first with gentle stretches to prevent injury. Here are a couple of good stretches to try before hiking:
- Calf Stretch – Stand on the edge of a flat surface and drop your heels until you feel the stretch in your calves.
- Hamstring Stretch – Sit on the ground with one leg extended in front of you. The other leg should be bent at the knee. Lean forward at the hip, stretching your arms toward the extended foot. Hold and then repeat with the other leg.
There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, from wearing green to eating corned beef and cabbage. Include a couple of green workouts in your celebrations this year and have fun while getting fit in the great outdoors!