Here’s How To Take Your Workout Outside This Summer
Harness your inner child, slather on some sunscreen, grab your hat and some water, and get outside to exercise!
Fresh air is motivating, potentially fun and invigorating, and, most critically, convenient. When it comes to reaching any health goal, consistency is key! What is more convenient than training in your “birthday suit”? No fancy equipment required! (And no, you don’t have to be naked!)
Basically, harness your inner child, slather on some sunscreen, grab your hat and some water, and get outside — you might just have some fitness fun in the process!
Work out at the park!
Warm-up with five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging — however long it takes you to get to the park.
Sprint one length of the park. Do walking lunges back. Repeat four to 10 times.
Or, find a hill. Lunge up the hill. Jog down. Repeat four to 10 times.
Then, find a park bench and do two sets of “11s”!
First set of 11s: jumping jacks and push-ups. Do 10 push-ups and one jumping jack. Then nine push-ups and two jumping jacks. Continue to decrease the number of push-ups and increase the number of jumping jacks until you are doing 10 jumping jacks and one push-up.
Walk or jog for 10 minutes around the park
Second set of 11s: step-ups and mountain runs. Do 10 step-ups (each leg) and one mountain run (each side). Then nine step-ups and two mountain runs. Continue to decrease the step-ups and increase the mountain runs until you are doing 10 mountain runs and one step-up. Always do the repetitions on each leg.
Jog for an additional 10 minutes (optional).
Walk or jog home.
Walking lunges: Step forward into a lunge. As you stand up bring your back leg up and forwards into the next lunge. Keep your chest out and core engaged. Use the bum muscle of your front leg to stand up.
Step-ups: Place your right foot on the bench. Make sure your heel is on the bench. Engage your core and your bum to stand up. Control on the way down.
Scapular push-ups: Start with your hands on the bench and feet on the ground. Engage your core. Make sure your body is in a straight line — don’t arch or round your lower back. Do one scapular retraction by pulling your shoulder blades together and “cracking a walnut” with your shoulder blades. Keep your arms straight. Then bring your shoulder blades back to their original position and do one push-up.
Mountain runs: Start in a plank position — hands on the bench and feet on the ground. Core engaged. Bum down. Don’t arch your back. Alternate “running” your knees in towards your chest.
Work out in your backyard!
Warm-up by skipping rope for three to five minutes. Then do one light Tabata cardio set.
Skippingis an incredibly efficient, convenient, and low-cost cardiovascular workout, and holding the rope works your shoulders and triceps.
A Tabatainterval is four minutes. You alternate 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of recovery eight times. A relaxed warm-up Tabata could be side steps, high knees, or bum kicks.
Main set: Do four Tabata sets. Alternate between a cardio Tabata and a strength Tabata. For the cardio try running, skipping or body-weight exercises such as jumping jacks, burpees or mountain runs. For the strength Tabata try bench push-ups, squats, or lunges.
Sample exercise details
Lunges — stationary or walking: Make sure both feet stay facing forward, with your chest out and core engaged. Use the bum of the front leg to stand up. To get fancy, lunge up a hill if you happen to have one in your yard!
Side lunge: Start standing. Step your right leg out to the side and sit backwards into a squat. Your left leg stays straight with the right leg squatting. As you sit backwards make sure your sit bones widen. Chest out. Core engaged. Engage your right bum muscle to push yourself up to balancing on your left leg.
Squats: Start standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Sit backwards — like you are sitting into a chair. Think of your sit bones widening as you move your bum towards the ground. Watch your knees — don’t let them cave in. Keep them in line with your middle toes. To stand up engage your core and bum. Chest out.
There are a million variations to make squats more “fun.” Try holding low in the squat and pulsing, slow down the tempo (try four counts down and four counts up), and/or add a jump.
Work out anywhere!
Tabata-style body-weight intervals: A fantastic element of Tabata sets is that they can be done anywhere, with whatever equipment you have. Have no equipment? Use your body. Be creative!
Walking, jogging, or running: This one is as simple as it sounds. Lace up your shoes and go — just progress gradually. Jogging and running are hard on the body. Start with a one-minute jog and two-minute walk. Slowly increase the amount of time you jog or run.
YYCFit-approved “Anywhere” sample workout
Warm-up with 10 minutes of walking, jogging, or running; a relaxed Tabata of side steps, high knees, or bum kicks; or gently jumping rope for three to five minutes.
Then do four Tabata sets. Alternate between a cardio Tabata and a strength Tabata. For the cardio try running, skipping or body-weight exercises such as jumping jacks, burpees or mountain runs. For the strength Tabata try bench push-ups, squats or lunges.