One of the biggest excuses out there for not exercising is lack of gym access. I’ll say it – that’s a bunch of crap. Now that spring is upon us (at least in my part of the world), there are even more opportunities for you to get outside, enjoy the fresh air – and get a workout in, too.
So, what kind of options do you have? On the most basic level, you have walking and running. The only thing you need to have to get started on either of these are a good, quality pair of running or walking shoes – and the recent “barefoot running” movement may even convince you that you don’t even need those (it’s kind of controversial, and there are arguements on either side of the issue – but at the end of the day, it’s really up to you. If you do decide to go barefoot, remember that the most important part is starting SMALL. Some of us – i.e. me, right after I started teaching Piloxing two days in a row each week – can easily end up injured and moving in the wrong direction).
Taking the kids to the playground? Well, there are plenty of ways that you can get some exercises in while the kids are having fun, too. Some ideas for incorporating playground equipment into your workout (yes, there is a reason jungle gym-type contraptions are starting to show up in health clubs!):
- Find a bench for pushups, planks, tricep dips, step-ups or box jumps.
- Take on the monkey bars – you can do pull-ups or leg raises.
- You can do more than just swing on the swings – they’re also great for split squats, planks, push-ups, and a variety of abdominal exercises.
- Stairs in your park or playground? You can run them, do push-ups, planks, lunges, triceps dips or split squats.
The biggest key is to get creative! You can run or walk, play hopscotch, do jumping jacks, throw a ball around – anything that will get your heart rate up will make for a great outdoor workout.
Here are a few more ideas for your outdoor workout: