6 Spring Exercise Routines
If you’re worried about pain and looking to start an exercise routine, you’re in luck. Spring is here, and the outdoors are now open for business.
One of the best ways to prevent pain or injury later in life is through regular moderate-to-intense exercise. With daily attention, you could improve strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, mobility, and endurance.
Cardiovascular exercise, for example, is one of the most important, regular actions you can take to help enhance your body and mind. Regular cardio can boost your heart health, circulation, mood, energy, and more.
Strength training, on the other hand, can bulk you up or tone you down, depending on your personal exercise goals. It can help strengthen your core, enhance mobility, and fix your posture.
But always remember: though exercise is good for you, you can very easily overextend or injure yourself if you stretch, run, or train “wrong.” Always consult with your doctor or physician before starting any new regimen, especially if you’re in pain or have any chronic conditions.
Outdoor Cardio Circuit
“The American Heart Association recommends achieving at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity heart-pumping exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise spread out over most days of the week,” writes the Cleveland Clinic.
You’re faced with a lot of options in how you exercise. If straight running, walking, or jogging doesn’t appeal to you, your own personal cardio circuit could give you the freedom and leeway you’re looking for.
A simple, non-intensive Cardio Circuit example could look like:
- A brisk walk or jog for 5 – 10 minutes (also known as a “dynamic warmup”)
- 5 – 10 pushups
- 5 – 10 lunges
- 10 – 20 squats
- 30 seconds – 1 minute of jumping jacks
- 5 – 10 minute cooldown (light walking, stretching)
The cardio circuit is great for those who lead an active lifestyle, or for those who wish to. But it may be too much for some. Plenty of people will get all the cardiovascular exercise they need through regular walking or stretching.
Yoga in the Park
Or at home!
Find a peaceful spot to place your yoga mat. Start with some gentle stretches to warm up. When you’re ready, move through a series of yoga poses (such as sun salutations, warrior poses, and triangle poses.) Focus on deep breathing. Hold each position for 5-10 breaths.
You’re faced with a lot of choices in yoga. How you choose which poses to practice can be tough, which is why a beginner’s class, or a vetted routine, may be helpful at the start. The more you stretch, the more you’ll come to understand your body and what it’s capable of.
Yoga is a terrific way to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension. After a session, your body may feel more relaxed and your mind clearer.
Take advantage of the soon to be beautiful spring weather. Find a hiking trail!
Hiking is the ultimate outdoor exercise, and a great source of cardiovascular training. It’s also a tried-and-true way to help with your mental health. “Being in nature can boost your mood… Spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression.”
If you’re in PA or New Jersey, there are plenty of state parks with well-marked trails
Just remember to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks (trail mix, beef jerky, or something high in protein). Always know your destination and be sure to let someone know where you’re going before you leave.
Hop on your bike and hit the road! (Or a bike path.)
Start with a gentle warm-up ride, then increase the intensity and challenge yourself with hills or sprints. Aim for 30-60 minutes a few times a week, depending on your fitness level.
Interested in bulking up or strengthening your core? Resistance or strength training may be what you’re looking for.
Though these routines are for people serious about exercise and can often involve substantial expenses (equipment, possibly a personal trainer if you’re thinking about weights), building-up your muscles and core can be one of the most effective ways to help prevent chronic pain or injuries down the line.
Resistance training involves using resistance, such as weights or resistance bands, to challenge and work your muscles. The goal of resistance training is to build muscle mass, increase muscular endurance, and improve overall tone.
Types of resistance training can include:
- Chin Ups
- Push Ups
- Bench Presses
Strength training (a type of resistance training), on the other hand, is designed to increase your physical strength, your muscle mass, and power.
Strength training exercises can include:
- Triceps’ Extensions
- Curls (with Dumbbells)
- Goblet Squats
If exercise isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty you can do! You can dance, for example.
Maybe you know someone who’d like to go square or salsa dancing, or maybe you’d simply like to dance on your own, at home, like nobody’s watching.
A 30-minute daily dance session — enough to work up a light sweat — may be all the cardio you need!
Contact RA today
Life on its own can offer plenty of challenges. How you exercise shouldn’t be one of them. If you have any questions about exercising with pain, call the doctors at ReclaimAbility today.