As the days get longer and the weather warms up, I start to feel the urge to move a bit more.
Now I’m not talking about full-on cardio-intensive HITT workouts, hot yoga sessions, or cycling classes. I’m talking about gentle exercises that help wake the body up from its winter rest, get the blood circulating, and help one’s energy move more freely.
If you’re like me and not quite ready for more intense forms of exercise quite yet, here are a handful of gentle exercise ideas that you can incorporate into your life as much or as little as you’d like to slowly increase your level of movement this spring.
I’ve been slowly working these into my days, and I can’t even explain how nice it has been to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and move my body a bit more.
Gentle Exercise Ideas for Spring
I don’t know about you, but walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate into my day. While I already walk quite a bit throughout the day, I am trying to be a bit more intentional about it now that spring is here.
One way I’m increasing my walking throughout the day is by sticking with my housework plan. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I use the FlyLady app to help stay on track with weekly cleaning. This app breaks my home into Zones, and you complete 1 zone a week. I have a set time in my day where I focus on housework, and this typically has me walking around and moving more vigorously than I normally would.
Another way I’m increasing my walking each day is by taking daily walks around our property with our dog, Charlie, while listening to an audiobook or podcast. This helps me to not only get some time out of the house and in nature, helping take my mind off all I have going on that day, but it also helps me to get a bit more exercise as well. Because our land is fairly flat, I do try to walk quickly to make it more of a challenge, and I try to walk for 20-30 minutes 5 days a week.
Lastly, I’ve been trying to park further away from stores so I have to walk a bit further to go in. I know this isn’t a big effort, but I suppose it helps to add to the overall amount of walking I do in a week.
Taking walking up to another level, occasional hikes are another gentle exercise idea for spring, particularly on warm days where the shade of a woodland trail would feel really nice.
While hiking isn’t something we do a lot, the spring and autumn seasons are my and Dean’s favorite seasons to take our boys and go on intentional hikes, either hiking a local trail to a waterfall or swimming hole (not getting in the water just yet, of course) or occasionally taking hikes further from our home, such as the time we hiked to the top of Grayson Highlands in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia to see the wild ponies.
A simple Google search can reveal maintained hiking trails in your area or close to your home. You can always reach out to a friend who does a good bit of hiking in your area to ask for advice as well.
Swimming is another gentle spring exercise that can be done if you have a local indoor pool available to you.
While this isn’t something that works for me because I live out in the country, and we don’t have any indoor pools close by. However, if you live in the city, swimming is a great way to get a full-body workout without overexerting yourself.
Swimming laps in the pool, treading water while chatting with friends, or taking part in a gentle water aerobics class are all great ways to get some exercise through swimming this season.
While yoga can be a great exercise idea for all times of the year, Vinyasa yoga is a particularly good gentle exercise idea perfect for waking the body up in spring.
Vinyasa yoga is also called “flow yoga,” and it’s great for beginners. It focuses on pairing your breathing with movements that flow from one to the next in a sequence. The sequence is often repeated several times, and it can help reduce feelings of stress and increase flexibility in the body.
Vinyasa yoga is one of my favorite styles of yoga. You can find Vinyasa flows for free on YouTube (here’s one of my favorite playlists to help you get moving with yoga), or you can purchase at-home DVDs or stream the workouts from various yoga apps. You can also find these types of yoga sessions at your local yoga studio.
Who said you can’t be productive while you exercise? If you like to follow the rhythms of nature, now is the time for spring cleaning in your home, and with that can come some gentle exercise as well.
I already mentioned how staying on track with my housework helps me to incorporate more walking into my day, but it also helps me to move more than my legs. Seriously! Scrubbing the stove, cleaning walls and baseboards, washing windows, and mopping floors all help to move your muscles.
Now I don’t know how you feel about doing housework, but I like my home to be clean. However, with four boys making messes everywhere they go, it can be difficult to keep it clean. Thankfully, setting aside time for housework and following the FlyLady app has definitely helped me do better at keeping up with it all! And no, it’s never perfect, but it is decent. Well, most of the time. LOL!
Just Move It, Move It
Alright, I hope reading through these gentle exercise ideas has helped to motivate you to get moving, even in the smallest ways, this season. Don’t forget that movement is cumulative throughout the day, so feel free to add several of these suggestions to your day. I know that’s what I do!