Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Making the transition to outdoor workouts

By Kayla Marchetti

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Spring is just around the corner and it’s about time to start getting out of the gym and heading outside. Daylight savings time begins this Sunday when the clock springs forward one hour. Soon the sun will be staying out later and it will be getting a bit warmer.

Phoebe Glick/Collegian

This is the time of the year that fair weather workouts are made for; when the mornings are not as cold, the days are warmer and breezy and the sun stays out later and later. Here are a few ideas on how to stay active outside this spring.

Running

Many people still run outdoors in the wintertime, but if you’re like many others out there, you may be a fair-weather runner. Getting bundled up and being numb through an entire workout is not always the most favorable way to get moving. Fair-weather runners live for this time of year when they can all start heading out and going on runs in the beautiful weather.

Running is one of the most popular outdoor activities among local college students, possibly because of the size of the University of Massachusetts campus. There are enough sidewalks and streets that you can run a different route each time you go out. You can make runs challenging by trying to sprint up Orchard Hill, or attempting the 5k routes from previous races on campus (maps found online).

As for a workout, running exercises your legs and core, all while building endurance and creating lean muscle. If you don’t like to run, power walking is another great option for outdoor activity as well. So grab your iPod, lace up those new sneakers and hit the pavement.

Soccer

With the melting of all the snow and ice, the athletic fields over by the Mullins Center are free to use with friends. Get a group of students together to play a pick-up game or make a tournament.

Soccer is a workout that involves cardio and muscle conditioning as well as toning. It’s sure to work your legs and core most of all. Soccer is a great way to spend the day with your gang while also getting an effective, fat burning workout.

And if you don’t have a soccer ball, that shouldn’t be a problem.  Often, dormitory cluster offices will have sports equipment you can borrow.

Basketball

Another popular outdoor activity on campus is shooting hoops at the basketball courts. While the Recreation Center at UMass has a handful of indoor courts, they are usually packed with students by the end of the day. But, there are several outdoor basketball courts on campus including those located in Southwest and Orchard Hill.

Playing basketball improves endurance, while simultaneously burning fat and calories. It also helps build muscle in your arms and legs, as well as improving coordination. Getting a group of friends together to play a game is a fun way to stay healthy and active.

Biking

Going for a bike ride is a fantastic workout and is a great way to explore Amherst. Biking works your legs and burns fat. In addition, by keeping your balance, your body is strengthening its core. One can burn anywhere from 400 to 500 calories in just one hour of intense biking.

If you don’t have a bike here at school, look no further – the Bikeshare Program will take care of it. The Bikeshare Program is a free bike rental service for UMass students, faculty and staff. Just bring your UCard and you’re off, take a ride through Amherst and explore the back roads while enjoying the spring air.

Kayla Marchetti can be reached [email protected]

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