We have an idea you might not hear often- take a break from the gym. How? Well, instead of being inside, take your work out ‘out’ and sweat outdoors without any equipment at all. Studies have shown that outdoor workouts have many benefits including stress reduction, restoring mental fatigue, and improving mood and self-esteem and perceived health.
Here’s a list of a few no-equipment outdoor workouts for you to consider.
According to MensFitness.com, hills can be considered functional strength training since your bodyweight battles gravity—strengthening your entire body in the process. Doing hill sprints also helps improve running technique, speed, and endurance.
Here’s an example: Warm up with a 5–20-minute light run. The workout is sprinting up the hill 12 times and walking back down. Sprints 1 – 4 should be at 50% effort; sprints 5-8 should be at 75% effort; and sprints 9 – 12 should be at 90 – 100% effort. Cool down with another 5-20-minute light run.
Park Bench Push-Up Trio
To target your chest and shoulders, use a park bench to do three kinds of push-ups. The first push-ups will be with your feet on the park bench and your hands on the ground, belly down. The second set of 10 push-ups will be with your feet on the ground and your arms on the bench. Finally, do 10 more push-ups fully on the ground.
To add more to your workout in a park, run from park bench to park bench and do the push-ups at a different park bench each time.
Burpees are an exercise that targets your entire body. When you are outside, you have more room to have some fun with these. Instead of staying in one place, imagine that you have a leapfrog partner. Bend over or squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet. Jump both feet back so that you’re now in plank position. Complete one push-up. Next, instead of the usually explosive jump into the air, jump over your imaginary leapfrog partner. Land and return to starting position. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds.
Trail running is different from flat surface running because of the textured, uneven terrain. Due to this terrain, runners must work harder with each step creating a more intense and effective workout. Since runners are fully engaged as they find their footing for each step and achieve that balance, some positions may require more energy than others.
Time your run. You can integrate exercises at set intervals. This will boost your calorie burn without having to run longer distances.
Use the Sand
Sand is nature’s resistance. A study in The Journal of Experimental Biology showed that running on sand takes 1.6 times more energy than running on a hard surface. Even if you don’t live near a beach, you can take advantage of a sand workout on the playground in a sandbox or at a local sand volleyball court.
Here is one move in the sand to improve strength, power and balance:
Jump diagonally to the right, landing on your right foot with your knee slightly bent. Pause, then jump off your right foot, diagonally to the left, and land on your left leg, knee slightly bent. Continue this zigzag pattern for about eight to 10 jumps; do three sets.
Any circuit training that you are already doing outdoors can be modified to do in the sand for extra resistance.
Before you start any exercise program, please consult with your doctor or your team at Momentum to schedule a FREE Pain Relief Assessment online or call (210) 888-1278. Be sure to follow us on Facebook as well for daily tips and success stories to keep you inspired and healthy!