By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
Ahhh, Spring. I pity the poor people who must suffer temperate weather year round. They don’t know the joy those of us in the snow belt feel when we hear that first robin’s song, or first feel we don’t need 3 layers, 2 hats and a face mask to go out for a walk.
Think of how much more exercise time we get back because we’re not layering up!
Yes, we are just arriving at the time of year we can go back outside without a half hour of checking the temperature and planning and choosing the workout clothes that will protect us.
Outside vs Gym
At this time year, I’m tired of my gym routine. I want to go outside!
Being outdoors not only gives you a shot of sunshine, but also varies your routine. It’s good for you to go up and down hills as you run, walk or bike, for example.
I’m not dissing gyms. They are an important component to keeping your fitness year round.
I learned that the hard way.
When I ran outdoors only, I’d run from April till late October. The problem with that routine was the 4-5 months of inactivity. There was a weeee bit of weight gain in those months.
Restarting in spring was a dreaded, sometimes delayed and difficult experience.
Thank goodness gyms have dramatically improved. (Have you checked out the QC-area Ys? Fantastic!)
The benefits of a gym workout include the fact that you can get a lot done in a short period of time. You won’t slip on the ice. And there’s a great variety in the types of workouts you can do.
This winter was tough, and had an adverse effect on everything from mood to waistline.
As reported in Time magazine, everything from mood to health improves when we go outdoors:
“Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live. “You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin,” she says, so your mood brightens.
Check out LMQC’s great collection of Quad-City outdoor hiking, walking and playing places. You’ll be busy every spring weekend and then some!
So, Carpe Diem and enjoy this spring weather along with the smile it has plastered on your face. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you!
Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.