General Wellness

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

While gyms in Minnesota were allowed to reopen earlier this month, not everyone has a membership and not everyone is interested in returning to a busy setting right now. Fortunately, our state has a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor exercise opportunities, particularly this time of year.

“As far as outdoor exercise options, I think one of the blessings of this unusual summer is the chance to spend time with your family outdoors, whether it’s hiking, fishing, gardening or doing your own home workouts,” said Physician Assistant Allie Nowak. “If you can enjoy the beautiful weather and put a positive spin on everything, it’s great for your mental and physical health.”

Fun options include family bike rides, walking or hiking in new locations, swimming if you have access to a pool, strapping on a pair of roller skates or roller blades, homemade obstacle courses and more. Many people have turned to online classes for exercise this year – why not take your favorite yoga or cardio class outside?

As Nowak noted, exercise is good for the body and the mind and can help with the anxiety many people have been experiencing. If you’re looking to set some mindful goals for diet and exercise:

  • Start small and grow from there. When you reach your first reasonable goal (such as exercise for 30 minutes or more four or more days a week), you can always expand. When you are too far-reaching, it can be discouraging when you don’t reach your goals right away.
  • Incorporate an element of fun. Whether you are involving your kids, a friend or a neighbor, social connection and accountability can make movement more enjoyable – and motivate you to lace up your shoes.
  • Be smart. Wear sunscreen. Do your best to distance from others when on a busy path (or try off hours). Drink lots of water. Listen to your body when it tells you it wants a little more or needs some rest. And talk with your doctor if you have questions about diet, exercise or goal setting.

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