Summer's here! If you need another reason to get out and get moving, here it is: Working out outdoors is not only healthy for the body, but studies say it can also improve well-being. So between the weather and the benefits, there is no excuse to stay indoors! Ditch the treadmill and hit the park.
Why not let your local park be your gym? As a celebrity trainer, I love to take my clients outdoors and put them through their workouts in the fresh air. Parks are great places to work out and are the anchors of our communities. Next time you're at the park try my quick and effective 20-minute 321 Total Body Workout used by my celebs when we're on remote locations! By using the 321 formula of three cardio segments, two circuits of strength training and one core routine you can not only will work off the weight, you can build lean muscle tissue to torch calories hours after you have stopped training. Here's how it works!
Begin with a warm up of some dynamic stretches done on the grass or walk along a track as you perform knock rolls, arm circles, hip circles, even walking lunges and anything to get the blood flowing.
Next, begin with the first cardio segment and some walk-jog intervals: walk for 30 seconds, then jog for 30 seconds, repeat five times.
Stop at a park bench for the first circuit. Perform pushups with hands placed on the bench and body in a plank position (straight line) for 10 reps
Step ups: Step up on to the bench and back down. Try 10 reps leading with your right leg and then 10 reps leading with your left leg.
Tricep dips off the bench: Sitting on a bench, hands placed along the edge, lift your body off the bench, keeping weight on your hands. Keeping elbows in close to your sides and hips off the bench, lower yourself down to as far as comfortable in front of the bench, then raise back up. Repeat 10 times.
Now its back to the track for the second cardio segment. Lets take it up a notch and do some jog-run intervals. Try jogging for 50 seconds and sprinting for 10 seconds. Repeat this combination five times.
Return to the grass for the second circuit. Lay on the grass on your back with knees bent and hands by your side for support. Lift hips up into a bridge and extend one leg up to the sky. Raise and lower hips to slightly above ground, keeping leg extended upward for 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.
Next, roll onto your stomach for some supermans. Keep head in line with your arms as you lift and lower your legs and torso simultaneously. Hold briefly at the top by contracting gluteals. Perform 10 reps.
Finally, stand in front of a park bench, place hands on the ground and put feet up on the bench to form a plank position. In this inverted position do a pushup. Having legs elevated will target more of the shoulders and back. Try to do 10 repetitions.
Return to the final cardio now and jog steady for five minutes. Include moves such as high knees, sidestepping, and skipping.
Finish with the core. Try this move to target the transverse -- the muscle that cinches in your waist and supports your lower back. With hands on a park bench, body in a plank position, keep abs contracted as you bend your knee and bring it to touch the bench, then return it to start. Alternate legs for 20 reps.
Be smart and safe and don't forget to check the weather before you head out, if it's going to be a scorcher work out early in the morning, or later in the evening. Bring your beverage to hydrate and don't forget the sunscreen!
On location I don't have the luxury of a lot of equipment, but as you can see you don't need much to keeping your heart rate pumping; all you really need are sneakers and your smartphone! Not only great for your favorite playlists, your smartphone will give you the chance to nominate your local park for the title of "America's Favorite Park." Log onto www.LivePositively.com/parks and vote for your park to receive a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative. That's a grant to help better jogging paths, or build a workout space -- whatever the park needs! Here's another reason. The just-released American Fitness Index (AFI) found that cities with more outdoor spaces for working out were among the fittest, so vote before July 15!
For more by Ramona Braganza, click here.
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