Woohoo! Spring has finally sprung, which is particularly great news for those of us living in Melbourne. You know what they say, Melbourne can have four seasons in one day, and sometimes it can be less than enticing to exercise outdoors or participate in certain types of activities if the weather turns from a nice day to a freezing, wet and miserable one!
Spring is my favourite season of the year, it’s not too cold and not too hot. It is fantastic weather for working out, as even when the sun is shining down there is still usually a freshness in the air. Lightweight jackets and long sleeved tops can be worn over singlets and tees, perfect for stripping down as you heat up. It’s also time to start baring those legs, ladies!
Spending time outdoors has so many benefits, both physically and mentally. Getting enough Vitamin D is hard during winter, but is a lot easier in the warmer months. Just don’t forget to slap on the sunscreen and wear a hat (we don’t want any premature wrinkles, let alone dangerous skin cancers!)
Here are four of my favourite ways to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and get active:
Ride a bike
The best way to get around when the weather is fine is to chuck on a helmet and ride! Not only will you get from A to B, but you will be getting a great cardio workout at the same time. To maximise the amount of exercise you are getting, aim to incorporate some high-intensity riding into your routine. Look for some bike paths or roads near your area which allow for some speed, and get pedalling! A good way to know if you are raising your heart rate is to see if you can speak a full sentence without stopping during to take a breath. If you can’t it means your heart rate is about 65-80% max rate.
As I have mentioned previously in my posts, I love a great outdoor circuit. Especially during spring! You can incorporate so many different exercises, and work every part of your body in a short amount of time. Try this one at your local park:
Warm up: measure a distance of about 20 metres and run up and back forwards, backwards, high knees and side stepping (up one way and back the other way).
Main Set: Complete three rounds of these exercises, with a 30 second rest in between each set:
- 20 burpees
- 20 wide squats
- 20 crunches (legs in table top position or feet flat on the ground with bent knees)
- 20 push ups (knees bent or on your toes for advancement)
- Hold plank for 30 seconds
- Sprint up and back 20 metres
Cool down: Walking lunges up and back the distance of your warm up. Then stretch whatever feels good for you.
Go for a weekend hike
Make the most of a sunny day by grabbing a few friends and venturing out on a bush walk or hike. The fresh air will invigorate your senses and allow you to forget the stresses of the working week. Uneven terrain forces you to brace your core to stabilise your body as you walk, meaning you get an ab workout at the same time! Some great places to walk in Victoria are:
- Great Otway National Park
- Mornington Peninsular National Park
- Dandenong Ranges National Park
- You Yangs National Park
Participate in a charity event
For a fantastic way to gain motivation, achieve a goal and help out a worthy cause, register yourself for a charity event! There are plenty of events coming up in Melbourne this spring, including;
Relay for Life (various locations and dates in September) raises funds for Cancer Council
Run4Mind (7th September till 8th October) raises awareness for mental health
Frankston Mega Swim (26th and 27th September) raises money for multiple sclerosis
Melbourne Marathon (18th October) raises money for Motor Neurone Disease
Article by Heidi Greig.
Heidi Greig is a 25-year-old Melbournian with a passion for all things health and fitness. Coming from a background in modern dance and now enjoying the benefits of Reformer Pilates, Heidi is well –aware of the importance of regular, heart rate rising activity for a balanced and happy life!