After a long winter, head outside for your workouts and take in some much-needed Vitamin D. Like plus-size fitness expert Louise Green says, participate in joyous movement in the sunshine instead of torturing yourself with workouts that feel like dreaded obligations. To help inspire you, we put together a list of our favorite ways to work out in the fresh air. You just might have so much fun you’ll forget you’re working out!
1. Head outside for a hike.
If you live somewhere near great trails or mountains, going for a hike can be a relaxing and peaceful way to connect with nature and get a workout in. Check out this guide on what to pack for a day hike so you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for you. If you’re feeling nervous about embarking on a big adventure, get inspired by the stories of plus-size hikers from the Curvy Kili Crew and Summer of Fat Girls Hiking.
2. Take a bike ride.
Remember being a kid on a bicycle, heading down a hill with the wind in your hair and feeling like you’re flying? You can have that feeling again—just hop on a bike and the thrill of the ride is sure to come. If you have a bike in the garage, take it out and pump up the tires to prep for your ride. If you don’t have one, find a local bike-rental spot and go for a ride. A solo ride is just as fun as riding with a friend! Check out alltrails.com to find a bike trail in your area.
3. Jump in and go swimming.
Water can be very therapeutic. When your head is fully submerged, the world is much quieter, allowing your mind to process and maybe even come up with creative ideas or solutions to the problems troubling you. Whether you’re heading to a pool party where you’ll be splashing around with friends or swimming laps in a public pool during adult-swim hours, you’ll get in a joyous workout. Just don’t forget the SPF!
4. Go kayaking or paddle boarding.
…Or surfing! Water sports are a great way to enjoy the gorgeous weather and get in a workout while having an amazing time. Explore riverbanks you’d never be able to in a car or by foot, see wildlife, and get a workout in while you’re at it. Kayaking can really exercise your shoulders, while paddle boarding and surfing can activate your core and increase your balance. Most importantly, you’re sure to have fun!
5. Toss a frisbee or fly a kite.
While playing catch with friends or fetch with your dog can get you moving, throwing a frisbee involves running longer distances and keeps you moving much more. So grab a friend and toss it back and forth—and have fun giggling at every bad throw. Similarly, flying a kite also involves getting a running start. While you focus on keeping the kite afloat or chasing down the frisbee, you’ll also get in some cardio.
6. Join a rec league.
Were you the star of the softball team at one point in life? Or perhaps you love a good old-fashioned competitive game of kickball. Join a recreational sports league in your town to get in some regular exercise, a little friendly competition, and to be part of a team. Joining a rec league with a best friend or significant other can be a great bonding experience—and you might just leave with a few more friends, too! Plus, a win makes for a great excuse to hit the bar or restaurant with teammates after the game.
7. Take your walking up a notch.
Walking is a great form of exercise—and something you’re probably already doing a fair amount of—but adding in one extra layer of intensity can turn your leisurely stroll into a muscle-building or cardio-inducing workout. Go on a long solo walk and call a faraway friend or family member to take your mind off the workout. Then, turn it up a notch by taking your long walk to the beach and letting the sand build strength. Or, turn your long walk into a hike and put your muscles to work as you take on the incline of a hill. Better yet, grab a girlfriend to go on the walk with you so that as you catch up and share gossip, you can also be getting your sweat on.
8. Find joy in jogging.
Learn about the runner’s high phenomenon firsthand and see why many people find running to be a fun way to get moving. Instead of running on a treadmill and staring at a TV screen without going anywhere, hit the pavement and get your cardio in outdoors. Get started by exploring your neighborhood, and if you’re traveling, explore that neighborhood, too. Running requires next to no equipment—just a decent sports bra and supportive running shoes. Take this portable workout with you anywhere!
9. Dance ’til you sweat.
There is perhaps no more joyous way to move than simply to dance. Whether you crank out your favorite playlist in your bedroom and dance ’til you drop or attend a Zumba class to learn some new moves, you’ll be practicing a form of joyous movement. A workout shouldn’t feel like a punishment, and a happy dance is the greatest form of celebration! So head to an outdoor concert or invite the whole family to the backyard for a spontaneous dance party. If you’re in NYC, keep an eye out for Jessie Diaz‘s dance classes for a workout combined with some body-love therapy.
10. Take an outdoor fitness class.
Search online for your favorite fitness classes being held outdoors. In the spring, everyone gets so excited about the opportunity to work out in fresh air, so it’s likely that your go-to pilates class is having an outdoor installment. If the forced serenity in a yoga studio isn’t the right vibe for you, you might enjoy yoga on the beach as you listen to crashing waves while in downward dog. Just don’t forget to put on the sunscreen before and after you sweat.
How are you planning on getting outdoors this spring and summer? Got any hikes planned? Weekends at the lake? Be sure to ask your Dia Stylist for a Dia Active Box full of styles to keep you supported on all your adventures—and snap photos to show us how you’re moving on social.