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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
- 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.