5 Spring Workouts You've Rarely, If Ever, Tried
In romance, when things start getting predictable the excitement is sometimes replaced with boredom. Your relationship with working out is no different. If you’re ever to return to those days of spontaneity, you must try something new. A change of pace, scenery, and intensity can help rekindle your love of exercising. Here are five ways to keep it fresh.
The Deck of Cards Workout
Carrie Underwood is on the cover of Self Magazine’s April issue and she revealed a workout game that brings family night to mind. She explains,
“I have a game I love for when I'm working out on my own, without a trainer. I take a deck of cards and assign each suit a body area -- say, diamonds for arms, hearts for legs, spades for core and clubs for cardio. I split the deck in half and write down exercises for each suit, a different one for each half. So, if I flip over the six of hearts, I'll do six squats. If the next card is ace of diamonds, that's 14 push-ups. Sometimes I'll make spades boxing and beat the crap out of the bag for however many punches the number on the card says.”
If you’re a runner, you can modify her strategy by assigning each number card for laps, seconds or minutes and assign different intensity to each suit. For example, diamonds could mean walk, spades jog, clubs sprint, and hearts skipping. You can use the courts, (kings, queens, and jacks) to change directions, i.e. lateral, backward, or zig zag and use aces for rest. No matter which version you do, finishing the deck is the goal.
The Thrill of the Chase
Playing catch with a partner is much more fun, but if you’re alone, you can play by yourself. The distance you leave in between is for exercising while the ball, Frisbee, or sack you throw is simply to keep you moving to different spots. Do lunges, squats, jumping jacks, or crawl on all fours to get to your destination. You don't need a timer, just stop when you get tired of the weird looks you’re getting. If you have a partner or more people to workout with, play sock tag, or my favorite duck duck goose this Spring. To make duck duck goose more challenging, instead of using people sitting in a circle, use a running track as the circle and instead of patting the heads of those participating, call out the “goose’s” name to start running - the point is to not let the other make up to much of the ground between you. If you're playing duck duck goose alone, instead of the people sitting in a circle being your "heads to pat"... use a visual cue as your goose, such as a car of a certain color, people with hats on, or seeing children or pets to switch from running to sprinting, walking to jumping jacks or pushups to squats.
Park Your Car
You’ve heard the suggestion to park as far from the entrance of a store as possible to burn more calories, but what about actually working out in a parking lot. If it’s a multi-level structure, instead of taking the stairs, walk up each flight with long strides. You can also jump to hit the pillars inside the garage. Weave between cars or squat at each of the front bumpers in a row of cars. This couple seems to have even more ideas for a parking lot workout. Check out Fit for Two’s McDonald’s Parking Lot Workout here.
Takeover a Baseball Field
Baseball season is heating up, so you may feel inclined to enjoy the newly manicured diamond in your local park. Here’s how: Designate a specific exercise or body part to each base and complete the required number of reps. Sprint to the next base and do it all over again. Once you get to home plate, rest and if you’re up for it, round the bases again. The goal is to complete 9 rounds or innings.
Last but not least, get in the game by going to school stadium and learn your way around the seats, stairs, and field. Use two aisles to alternating running the stairs with sitting in each seat in the row. For the stairs, mix up hopscotch jumps, sprints, and walking two stairs at a time. For the seats, when you sit do a wave like front bend, down and up will give you a nice stretch that will feel more like a crunch by the end of your workout. You can also alternate bench dips between squats in each seat. On the field, do side lunges on the yard lines alternated by high knees to continue the heart-pumping workout.
If you try each of these exercises at least one a week during spring you will have a fun, spontaneous workout that will get you to your summer body much faster.
If you've tried these workouts, or have others to share, post strategies for keeping your workouts exciting.