Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in my house. There’s just something about the warm temperatures and fragrant fresh air that inspires me to open all the windows, purge everyone’s closet, organize the pantry, and scrub those baseboards until they’re sparkling clean. But my house isn’t the only thing that gets a makeover each spring. My body does too. No, I’m not talking about shopping for a new spring wardrobe or visiting the salon for a fresh new ‘do. I’m talking about my exercise routine. After months of monotonous indoor workouts that leave me feeling like a hamster in a wheel, I’m ready to lace up my cross trainers and hit the pavement for something different and exciting.
Spring weather offers endless possibilities for switching up your workout. And the best part is, while you’re outside enjoying the lush green grass and warm rays of sunshine, you’re also taking a significant step towards preventing colon cancer. Colon cancer is one of the most extensively studied types of cancer in relation to physical activity. According the National Cancer Institute, individuals who exercise regularly have a 24 percent reduced risk of colon cancer compared to those with a sedentary lifestyle. Not only that, but exercise has also been shown to actually improve survival rates in colon cancer patients.
Your spring workout can be as creative as you want it to be, but in case you need a little guidance, here are some ideas to get you started:
If you think running is boring and monotonous, think again. Trail running offers challenging terrain and breathtaking scenery that makes it feel more like an adventure than a workout. Changes in elevation and route obstacles are sure to tone your muscles and get your heart pumping for the ultimate exercise experience. Be sure to bring a friend with you to ensure a safe and enjoyable workout!
Do you have trouble finding the motivation to exercise? Sign up for a spring boot camp class and let your instructor do the rest. He or she will challenge to you reach new levels of fitness through push-ups, burpees, crunches, and sprints. It won’t be easy, but you will see results!
Some days we just don’t feel like exercising, and that’s ok. Just grab a friend and hit the courts for a game of singles. The American Dietetic Association estimates that recreational players burn anywhere from 600 to 1,320 calories during a two-hour singles tennis game.
Rock climbing builds overall body strength and endurance, and it is known to boost brain function to improve memory and problem-solving skills. If you’ve never tried rock climbing before, look for an indoor rock climbing gym in your area to learn the basics. Once you’re ready to take your adventure outdoors, ask your gym owner to recommend a certified guide.
Digging, raking, weeding, mulching: who says gardening doesn’t count as exercise? A recent study in South Korea actually found that some gardening tasks count as moderate- to high-intensity physical activity. Managing a garden during the spring months is a great way to keep your body active, and it will encourage you to eat a colorful variety of fresh, organic produce. A low-fat, high fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is a crucial part of colon cancer prevention, so gardening is a win-win in this department (Source: Women's Health).
Spring is a time of regeneration, and that can include a healthy new you! Switch up your stale workout routine by taking it outdoors and incorporating your natural surroundings. Finding an activity you truly enjoy is the first step towards changing your body and achieving your fitness goals.