A “Walk” in the Park

Now that summer is nearly here, many of you are probably supplementing your gym workouts with some outdoor running, walking, and playing. Here are some exercises that you can incorporate into your workout using just a park bench, picnic table or even a log on the trail to boost your workout! These exercises can be done on their own or in the middle of a run or walk. Start by walking or jogging for at least five minutes to get warmed up before performing the exercises.

Always consult a physician or Kinesiologist if you have health concerns before embarking on a fitness regime and remember that nothing should ever hurt while exercising. I have given three levels for each exercise B= beginner, I= intermediate and A= advanced. Do as many repetitions as you can comfortably. With exercises using one side at a time, start with your weak side and do the same number on your strong side. Make sure you can perform at least 20 repetitions before advancing to the next level.

1. Step ups: (Glutes, Hamstrings)
B= Using only a small stair-height object, step up and bring your knee to your chest. Hands on your hips to make sure you are not twisting (suck in abs to prevent this).
I=Step up on a bench, bring your knee up to your chest at the top and then step back down.
A = Add in a hop at the top of the bench.

2. Push ups: (Chest, Arms, Abs)
B= Use the back of the bench so you are fairly upright. Keep your back straight through the motion, breathe out as you push up.
I= Use the seat of the bench.
A= Try one arm at a time, starting with the back of the bench and progressing to the seat.

3. Sit to stand: (Glutes, Quads)
B= Hands across chest, stand from a seated position without using momentum.
I= Try one leg at a time. You may need to start off sitting on the arm rest.
A= Lower your seat, on one leg. Make sure you relax completely before each lift.

4. Dips: (Triceps)
B= Start using the back of a bench, keep your chest out and shoulders back, bend elbows behind you.
I=Lower yourself to the seat of the bench.
A=Straighten legs, one leg at a time, or have a partner hold your feet as you bend elbows!

5. Side Bridging: (Abs)
B= Start with a straight arm on the back of the bench, shoulders back, abs in, and body 45 degrees to the bench. Hold up to 20 breaths before advancing.
I= Lower your arm to the seat of the bench.
A= Slowly lift and lower your hips without bending at your waist. Breathe out as you lift back up.

Make sure to finish your workout by stretching and drinking some water. Enjoy your outdoor workouts!