Outdoor Fitness – Mixing it up!
As much as we all love to find a routine, changing your environment, can do wonders for your mind and body. Get some fresh air and get outside your comfort zone.
First off, no matter when or where you workout, every decision to move your body is a great thing. Stop judging yourself for how you think you should be working out. And if you have not started yet, hit that reset button and start now. Make fitness fun and always keep mixing it up!
Outdoors = great place for HIIT Workouts
Since most people are typically lifting weights in the gym, I would recommend doing more functional HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style workouts outdoors. Getting that heart rate up while doing some strength training will help you build muscle and really burn fat, during and even after you have already completed the workout, commonly called the after burn.
And here’s the great part: You don’t need any equipment. We sometimes think that working out needs to be fancy, but really it’s about mastering basics. When was the last time you did 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups in a day? I need to remind myself of this constantly. And when you embark on those 100 push-ups, good form is the key to success. If you need to modify, do so without any shame. We all start somewhere. If you choose to do HIIT anytime, just remember the key is to keep your heart rate up. Here is an example of a circuit I did recently at the park:
- 1 minute of squat jumps
- T plank push-ups
- agility ladder
- bicycle crunches
- bear crawls
3 sets of 5 exercises for a total of 15 minutes. Try it out! Nonetheless, just have fun with it!
Get off the treadmill and hit the trail
One thing that I wish I could do more of is outdoor running. For me, running has always been a challenge. I have always been pretty good at it and I really do enjoy it, but knee injuries force me to be careful. My advice is to run on dirt, turf or sand by the shore, all of which are easier on your joints than concrete and asphalt roads. The thing I love about trail running or terrain running is that it really strengthens different parts of your legs and feet, and it challenges your stability. Getting up into mountains on trails will also give you that extra burn from that incline. My favorite place to trail run is Temescal Canyon in the Palisades.
Hiking is good for your psyche and physique
I also really love going hiking. There’s something about climbing up a mountain that gives you a unique sense of accomplishment away from all of the noises in the city. Take a backpack with some water, electrolytes and of course snacks. Some things I take with me are Crispy Green Fruits, Beef/Turkey jerky, nuts, and bars. Another thing I really love about hiking is that almost anyone can do it, no matter what fitness level. Hiking is a great way to connect with yourself or if you decide to go with a group, it is an amazing time to bond and build deeper connections with people. No stress, no to do’s. Just you and Mother Nature. One of my favorite spots to go to is the Baldwin Hills Scenic overlook, a neighborhood in Southern Los Angeles. You can choose to go up some big stairs or up the hills trails. The top overlooks all of Los Angeles! It is definitely a sight to see. There are countless national, state and local parks around the country–Here are 5 Reasons Why Hiking is Good for You
All in all, my biggest advice is start small. Move your body everyday, even if it is a walk around the block. There is no right or wrong. After it becomes a habit, add more into your routine. It takes 21 days to create a habit. Eventually it will become part of your lifestyle.
— – By Blaine Strong, health and fitness coach, gym owner in Culver City, Calif. Visit him at http://www.blainestrongfitness.com