The warm weather is upon us and it’s time to ditch the gym, get outdoors and have some fun. If you know of an outdoor gym in your area or even a playground, there is gym waiting to be discovered, if not, all you need is a rock, a park bench, some grass and an attitude to think outside of the box.
I so enjoy being outdoors and when it comes to my workouts, I like to take advantage of the nice weather. So where do you start? Well, first of all you have to determine how much time you have. I like to be active but I also have many other things to complete in a day so time is an issue for me. Variety is also an important factor as it keeps the workout fresh. I’ve always believed use what you have and keep your workouts simple. To help you get the most of your workout from the outdoors, here are a few exercises that can get you inspired for your next cardiovascular workout and well on your way.
Always start your workout with a circulatory warm-up consisting of about 5 minutes. This can be done by a brisk walk or run. From here, you can combine the exercises below consecutively for any duration you choose.
Start Position: Use can use a park bench a rock, a log, or a tree for this. Place both feet on the ground and extend your body out into a straight line. Your hand placement can vary depending on what you want to work more of, your chest or triceps. Go wider with your hands if you want to focus more on the chest and narrow with the hands if you want to focus on the triceps.
Action: Lower your chest toward the ground until your elbows are bent at a 90-degre angle. Push back up to the starting position.
Tips: You can modify this exercise by making it easier by keeping your knees on the ground (modified push-up) or you can even stand up with your feet on the ground and perform the push-up against a tree.
Start Position: Unless you working out on playground equipment, the only other piece of equipment in the wild is a tree. Make sure the branch you use is sturdy enough to hold you. Either reach up or have someone lift you up towards the branch with your palms facing toward you just narrower than your shoulders.
Action: Pull your chin toward the tree branch until you are looking over the branch. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
Tips: Keep your arms in close to your body.
Start Position: With your feet shoulder width apart, start tall with your hands on your hips.
Action: Take a step forward while bending the knees and lowering your hips until your back knee touches the ground. Stand up by pushing off the front leg and then swing your back leg forward by taking another step until your back knee touches the ground. Repeat.
Tips: Maintain an upright torso through all phases of the exercise. Make sure that the knee of the front leg does not go over the ankle. You can do this exercise stationary or you can walk over a flat surface.
Start Position: Using stairs, a small bench, or a flat rock, start with your feet shoulder width apart.
Action: Explode off both feet by bending the knees and lowering the hips to land on the bench, rock, or stairs. Keep the landing as soft as possible. Stand up and step off. Repart.
Tip: Keep your eyes looking straight ahead. To make this easier, try stepping up using one foot only instead of both feet at the same time.
Start Position: Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms down by your side
Action: Lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs backwards into a press up position and then lower your chest to the floor. Push your chest back up to the press up position so you are back in the squat position. Jump up and raise both hands over your head.
Tip: You can vary the speed to make it more challenging or easier.
30 min Outdoor Circuit Program:
You can vary the times of each exercise and interspace one minute of running/walking with 1 minute of an exercise and repeat. Make sure you warm up prior to each circuit, cool-down, and stretch.
-Perform each exercise consecutively for 2 minutes = 10 minutes
-Run/walk for 5 minutes =5 minutes
-Perform each exercise consecutively for 2 minutes =10 minutes
-Run/Walk for 5 minutes =5 minutes
Total workout time =30 minutes
The above is one of my favourite workouts. I can do this anywhere at any time and I don’t need any equipment. My body is my equipment. If you don’t enjoy working out in a gym but prefer the great outdoors instead, a circuit is a great way to get a cardiovascular workout if you don’t have a lot of time or space to use. All you simply need is a park or a trail.
Over the past 25 years, I have heard every excuse in the book for not working out from my clients. Stop making excuses like you don’t have enough time to go to a gym or you don’t own any fitness equipment. If your health is important to you, you will make the time. 30 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. So use the above workout, do with a friend or family member and have fun & enjoy the great outdoors!
Have a great day & keep it simple!
Art & Maureen