Work Out in the Woods

I have to admit that when I think of serenity, working out does not come immediately to mind. “Serenity” takes me more to the peace of paddle boarding, hiking in the woods or a sunset swim in the lake. Each is active but relaxing and tranquil at the same time. Exercise has been proven to improve the mood and significantly help relieve stress or anxiety so a good work out can indeed be serene. Ten minutes of vigorous exercise can peak the endorphins for up to an hour and help you get ‘out of your head.’

This month, I have included five exercises you can add to your next walk or jog in order to boost your endorphins and crank up that bodily serenity. Perform as many as you can in a controlled and pain free manner.

1.  Push-ups: Using a log or the ground (harder), keep your body in a straight line as you bend and straighten your arms.

2.  Step-ups: Find a stump or log and step up onto it keeping your foot straight, knee over toe and tall posture. Switch feet after each repetition.

3.  Dips: Find a log and sit on it with your hands on the log beside you. Lift your hips off, bend your elbows behind you and allow your hips to go towards the ground. Stop when your elbows are at 90 degrees. Keep your chest out as you push your arms back straight.

4.  Squats: Feet hip width apart and straight. Keep your heels down as you bend and straighten your legs.

5.  Side Plank: Place one hand on a log or ground (harder). Keep your body in a straight line, chest and head up. Walk your feet out until can feel your abs
(usually about 45 degrees) and hold as long as possible. Match your time on the other side.

Just so you know, these exercises can be done just about anywhere so if you are starting to feel like you need a pick me up and are not near the woods, give them 
a try using a chair and let your heart feel serene. The real key to exercise is consistency and constant reinforcement so find a few times a week to get into the zone and keep your emotional health in check!