Start Summer Right with This Outdoor Fitness Challenge

Two women plank in a park
Let’s lather on sunscreen, grab a water bottle and lace up our sneakers for an outdoor workout that will get our hearts pumping.

Studies show that outdoor workouts have multiple benefits, including boosting moods, releasing stress, improving self-esteem and increasing absorption of natural vitamin D, which takes a dive in the winter. According to a study from California Pacific Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, outdoor exercisers lost an average of 7.4 lbs. and 6.17 percent body fat in eight weeks.

Let’s lather on sunscreen, grab a water bottle and lace up our sneakers for an outdoor workout that will get our hearts pumping.

Location: Find an area that has a bench, hill and playground equipment.
Warm up: Walk to a jog, then to a run for five to eight minutes, increasing in intensity every two minutes.

Hill sprints

  1. Hill sprints: Find a hill. Run/sprint up the hill, and jog down for a total of five rounds. *Added challenge: Do a body weight squat ladder at the bottom of the hill after each sprint: 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 reps.

    Tricep dips

  2. Tricep dips: Find a park bench. Perform 20 tricep dips on the bench. Make sure that your back is close to the bench and your triceps are at a 90-degree angle to the bench. *Added challenge: Extend your right leg for 10 reps and then left leg for 10 reps.

    Step ups

  3. Step ups: Using the park bench, step up using one leg at a time for 10 reps each. Make sure to engage your glutes, and push through the heel of the leg that is planted on the bench. *Added challenge: Do jumping jacks for 20 reps in between each leg rep.

    Push ups

  4. Push-ups: Find a soft surface, and get in a high plank position. (Drop to your knees if high plank is not an option.) Perform 10 reps, leading with your chest and making sure your body is in a straight line as you push down toward the ground. *Added challenge: Add an alternate shoulder tap between each push up.

  5. Core (pictured at top of story): Begin with high plank pose. Hold the plank for 30 or 45 seconds or a minute, depending upon your fitness levels. *Added challenge: Do knee ups for 20 reps using monkey bars at the playground.

Repeat sequence 2-3 times.