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As spring approaches and more Americans are receiving their vaccinations after a whole year locked away in pandemic mode, many of us find that the thought of getting outdoors for some needed exercise really appeals right now!

But if you are 55 or older, or you have been sedentary for a long time, “easy does it” at first.

Here are some low-key ideas to get you slowly back in shape for the season.

  1. Start off your mornings with a nice walk, either in the neighborhood, at a park, or out in nature somewhere. As your endurance builds, you can walk faster, add hand weights, or even jog if you like. Don’t forget to appreciate the scenery.
  2. Play outdoors with friends, the family, or your grandkids. A game of tag, horseshoes, badminton, or even croquet can get your heartrate up nicely, and bring a lot of laughs and great future memories.
  3. Do some gardening. Pulling weeds, trimming, digging, and planting can be all you need for the day in terms of exercise if you are just getting back into physical activity. Go slowly, and rest when you need to. What’s best about gardening is that it’s a two-fer activity—great exercise with beautiful results!
  4. Ride your bike. Bicycling is an easy-on-your-joints, low-to-no impact exercise that can be a lot of fun and allow you to cover a lot of distance quickly. Just make sure to wear a helmet, especially if you have any issues with balance.
  5. Do a guided (or self-guided) hike in a local, state or national park. You can find hikes for a variety of fitness levels. While you enjoy nature, you can also learn a lot about geology and history, as well as the flora and fauna in your region. If you like birds, you can often find an area close by that has a lot of migrating birds in the spring.

Enjoy the warmer weather, longer days, flowers, and sunshine while you get back in shape and back outside!