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Let's Take It Outside!

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, May 7, 2007

Let's Take It Outside!

Hi There Buddies...

The winter months have kept most of us cooped up inside, 
too much in front of the TV, munching on too many goodies 
that have become very visible once again.  Now that it's 
nearing shorts and tee-shirt time we'll be showing more of 
our skin again and of course we'd like to NOT have too many 
things jiggling around.

If you haven't already done so, this is the perfect time of 
year to head outside with your exercise plan and get that 
body moving again the way it was meant to.  You can start up 
with your current exercise plan, such as walking or biking, 
or add something completely new and fun to spice it up a bit.

There are many outdoor activities to start taking advantage 
of now that the weather has become nice again, so instead of 
being indoors at the gym or on the treadmill in the basement, 
let's enjoy the warm air and sunshine outside while we help 
our bodies get toned up and trimmed down.

Below are some great outdoor activities that will include 
some of your favorites and a few new and unusual ones to 
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Not only is walking a great way to get some fresh air and 
sunshine after being inside all winter, it's also great 
exercise if you do it right.  For an optimal workout, walk 
for an hour a day at least three days a week.  You should 
also alter your pace during the walk, i.e. go as fast as you 
can for a minute, then a slower pace for a minute, etc.  
This will get your heart pumping without having to do a hard 
workout.  If you're bored of walking around your neighbor-
hood, why not visit a nature park or zoo.


Sure, nowadays yoga is done in your living room or in a gym, 
but this art was made to be done in the great outdoors.  So 
tote your yoga mat to the park or just to the backyard.  
This can give you a workout and calm your nerves at the same 


Want to get a fantastic full body workout while kids are 
playing?  Then take them down to the community pool.  Many 
pools have an area for kids to splash and play while the 
adults swim laps.  Just make sure not to leave any child 
that doesn't know how to swim without adult supervision.  
And when you're done with your laps, maybe you can splash 
and play with your kids too.


This sport doesn't have to be played inside with a ref; you 
can play at a sand volleyball court, or just set up a net in 
your back yard.  Volleyball is a great way to socialize with 
your friends, or meet new people by joining a league.


More and more cities and towns are putting in bike paths.  
These are a great way to get a work out without risking 
serious injury by biking on rough terrain.  However, if 
you're up for a challenge, there are probably paths through 
woods, hills, mountains, or some other difficult, but 
rewarding terrain.  Just be sure to wear proper safety 
equipment no matter where you're biking.


If you want to get out and go, and you're up for an 
adventure, why don't you take the family and go for a hike.  
You can experience nature, get a great workout, get some 
fresh air, and spend some quality bonding time with your 


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More Outdoor Exercise Ideas For Spring!

Skipping Rope

Haven't skipped rope or played a little double dutch with 
your friends since you were in grade school?  Well, it's 
time to pick up an old habit.  It's fun, trendy, and family-
friendly.  Get the kids involved and get everyone's fitness 
curve on the upswing.  Women all around the country have 
rediscovered jump-rope, both as a means of getting in shape 
and as a healthy form of competition.  There are exhibitions 
and festivals going on throughout the United States and 
Europe.  As for weight, twenty minutes of jumping is the 
equivalent of an hour of aerobics.  The best part is that 
skipping-rope is a great lower-body workout.


This fun, walking-intensive activity - essentially a 
technological scavenger hunt - is sweeping the nation.  All 
you need to participate is a hand-held GPS device.  Here's 
how it works: people hide objects almost anywhere you could 
imagine (the caches), and then list them online only by 
their latitude and longitude.  Geocachers become members of 
these online groups and select caches to find based on 
general location and difficulty of the search.  Caches are 
inexpensive, fun and quirky.  When you find a cache, you 
leave something else for the next person.  To learn more, 
go to www.geocaching.com

Yoga At Dawn

For you early risers, join the ranks of yoga enthusiasts who 
spread their mats on the beach (if near one) as the sun 
makes its appearance for another day.  Yoga has both 
physical and psychological benefits that often seem enhanced 
when combined with awe-inspiring natural events.  
Alternatives to practicing your asanas (yoga poses) at dawn 
include yoga in the moonlight and yoga in a quiet glade.

Fitness Trails

Instead of simply biking, jogging or hiking, check out a 
fitness trail near you.  Fitness trails are paths that have 
a series of stations featuring different exercises.  As you 
jog down the trail, you periodically come upon a chinning 
bar, parallel bars or, perhaps, a horizontal ladder, all 
designed to give a different part of your body a workout.  
Fitness trails are often sponsored by colleges, community 
groups or your city government, so there's probably one 

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Amateur Leagues

It may seem as if we've become a nation of couch potatoes, 
getting our thrills vicariously through our local university 
or professional sports teams.  In reality, amateur 
participatory sports are alive and well.  If you love base-
ball, why not find a local league designed for people just 
like you?  Most cities and towns have organized programs in 
baseball, softball, basketball and soccer that are perfect 
for adults and kids of all ages.  It's great weather for 
sports, so join in, have fun and get fit.


When the weather warms up and sunset comes later and later, 
it's human nature to want to get outside again.  These 
activities are great for us and our families and should be 
done every chance we get, not only to get and keep ourselves 
and family members in shape, but to spend some much needed 
quality time together that's getting pretty rare these days.

Did You Know ???

Exercising outdoors gives people a wonderful sense of 
connection to the outdoor environment.  The benefits of 
natural light and fresh air serve to not only improve 
physical health, but also spiritual/emotional health.  
There is an innate connection to the environment that 
begins to occur when the body is exposed to the elements.  
Think about how you feel watching a sunset, walking along 
a beach, looking at a mountain view, or simply feeling cool 
fresh air on your face.  One begins to see and feel a 
oneness between themselves and the earth.  It is 
invigorating and revitalizing.  Being outdoors lets your 
body know what time of day it is and what time of year so 
that it can appropriately tell you when to sleep and how to 
eat.  Cold air on your body during the winter or warm 
sunlight on your face in the spring communicates valuable 
and appropriate information to your genes so that your body 
can serve you better.  Being outdoors for part of the day 
helps reset circadian rhythms, balances hormones and 
promotes weight loss.

Can't decide which exercise program is right for you?  
Come into our Diet Buddy Forum and discuss it at...
Diet Buddy Forum 

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer: Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

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