It’s no secret that exercise is great for scar healing. It gets the blood flowing, bringing healing oxygen to the scar area and all over the body, improves muscle tone, burns fat, and gives you lots of energy and stress relief, among other benefits. There’s no better time to work out outdoors than Spring, so try one of these awesome springtime fitness activities to get the scar-healing exercise you need.
Daily gardening can not only provide you with delicious and healthy vegetables and fruits or beautiful flowers, it also increases your flexibility, strengthens your joints, lowers your risk for diabetes, and can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, just like many other exercises.
While gardening, you work all of your major muscle groups, and can easily keep your heart rate elevated by moving briskly. Gardening can also involve a good deal of stretching, particularly when you reach for weeds or high branches, extend a rake, or bend to plant. Pushing wheelbarrows, lifting heavy bags of mulch, and shoveling all strengthen your body, and you achieve these benefits without the high-impact joint stresses of, say, running.
To get the most out of gardening for fitness, work in your garden for at least half an hour a day, several days a week. Start slowly is you aren’t accustomed to exercise, and be sure to bend and lift properly, using your legs and not your back. Perform lots of different tasks, like planting, weeding, and pruning, in order to work all the major muscle groups.
Few things are as much fun as riding a bicycle outdoors when the weather finally starts to warm up. In addition to being lots of fun, cycling offers many great health benefits. Contrary to popular belief, cycling does not only involve the legs; the whole body is engaged and strengthened with this activity. It improves muscle tone, is great for joint mobility, and builds stamina. It gets the heart rate up for cardiovascular benefits and burns plenty of calories. It can also be quite refreshing and reduce the stress that builds up under the pressures of daily life.
For the best benefits and a way to begin cycling that ensures you will be able to stick it out long-term, start off slowly. Try two-three times a week to start, and increase your speed gradually as you gain endurance and strength. Finally, safety comes first: remember your helmet and learn about traffic signals for cyclists.
Want to try something really exciting? Why not combine fitness with treasure hunting? Geocaching is a great outdoor activity that you can participate in with friends or family of all ages. Geocaching, if you aren’t familiar with this sport, involves searching for hidden containers which other geocachers hide in almost two million – that’s right – locations around the world. Participants use handheld GPS devices and information from a number of websites listed by other geocachers to aid them in their hunts.
The geocache itself is usually a small plastic container or other holder that has a logbook and pencil inside, along with inexpensive “treasures” you can trade. The general rule is that if you take something from the container, you replace it with something of equal or greater value.
The adventure and exercise benefits of geocaching occur because caches are located in all kinds of places, from city streets to remote wooded trails to underwater locations. So geocaching can be as easy or as challenging as you’d like – start by checking a website like geocaching.com to find simple treks in your local area and see if you don’t have so much fun you’ll want to do this activity more and more often. Many people use their existing smartphones with GPS enabled, or you can invest in a stand-alone GPS device. It’s up to you.
Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
Subscribe to Scars and Spots to get our posts delivered directly to your inbox!The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.