by Sally Whitaker
When the temperature rises and the sun shines, the outdoors become a great place for fitness. Walking, running, and biking are all popular options, but you will also see a variety of outdoor fitness offerings throughout the spring and summer months. Read on to learn more about a few popular outdoor options.
A paddleboard looks like a surfboard, but wider and thicker. There is typically slip-resistant treads to stand on and a paddle with a long handle.
Paddleboard fitness classes pop up as the weather turns warm. A standard class may consist of learning how to balance and paddle along with time to practice your skills on open water.
Some classes will incorporate yoga, Pilates, or other body weight exercises performed on the board while floating.
Exactly as the name sounds, participants will practice yoga with goats. Typically held at a farm or petting zoo, goats will roam around during a yoga class, and some may even crawl under you, stand on top of you, or sit at your feet.
While you probably wouldn’t want to make this your weekly workout, it will be fun and provide lots of laughs and photos. Make sure to sign up early, as these classes tend to sell out fast.
While many running clubs function all year, there are many more offerings during the warmer months. Typically hosted by a gym or running shoe/apparel store, the club will usually meet once or twice a week.
This is a perfect spot for beginners or those that like to find friendship and motivation with their workouts. Participants will range from those that have never run a mile before to seasoned marathon runners.
It is a great opportunity to learn about safety, pacing, breathing, and so much more. Course options will range from short distances of a mile or less to several miles, and progress as the weeks go by.
Pool exercises are low-impact and provide a moderate cardiovascular workout perfect for all fitness levels. A typical class involves standing in water up to the torso, walking laps, hopping, stretching, and circling the legs.
When the body is submerged chest deep, 50% of the pressure/weight of the body is reduced. When the body is submerged neck deep, 70-80% of the weight is relieved.
This means that the joints take on considerably less stress when walking, jumping, or balancing in water. If you cannot walk or run due to painful joints, feet, or legs, water fitness can allow you to move more freely.
Sally Whitaker is a Pilates and Yoga instructor with 15 years of experience teaching group classes and private clientele, primarily in Independence, MO. During the summer months you can find her teaching Sunset Yoga at Armstrong Park in Grain Valley.
Photo credit: iStock photo