Spring is here and that means it’s time to get outdoors and get in shape! Whether you have been hibernating in the comfort of your home all winter, or hitting the gym on a regular basis, I challenge you to take your workouts OUT-of-DOORS. I know that the climate-controlled, speed-regulated workouts on your treadmill or elliptical are very comforting, but if you really want to kick it up a notch or two and really challenge yourself, try heading outside for your next workout.

Not only does the fresh air and sunshine release endorphins and provide a natural dose of vitamin D, you’ll also find that a run or walk on a trail instead of a treadmill challenges your balance and core more effectively. Walking or running on uneven, hilly terrain burns more calories (even at a slower pace) and challenges the muscles of your abdominals and low back while strengthening the stabilizing muscles that surround the knees and ankles. Of course, risk of fall or injury is greater when you are outside, so always use caution and know the area in which you are training. Safety should always be your first course of action!

A great way to track your distance and intensity level while outside (versus setting an intensity level and watching the calorie display climb) is to wear a pedometer or use a smart phone GPS tracking app to determine your route. Either way, you are able to measure your workout and log it so that you can continue to challenge yourself in the great outdoors!!

Enjoy the sun, fresh air and quiet solitude of nature this weekend and TAKE IT OUTSIDE!!

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