As I See Fit: Go outdoors for fresh workouts
- on May 14, 2012
The sun is shining, the grass is green, and it's simply too beautiful to stay indoors.
When the humidity begins to climb and the heat becomes oppressive, we can take our workouts back into the gym and have a well-deserved respite from the elements. But for now, let's celebrate the season and reward ourselves with an outdoor workout.
Every weekend gives us a new opportunity to walk, run and cycle our way to better health.
We have 5Ks and 10Ks every weekend, often for a good cause. We have miles of trails at Clinton Lake and around the Kansas River.
The University of Kansas is well known for having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The hills that surround it are nothing but a bonus for those of us who love an incline challenge!
We have Red Dog's Dog Days, that certainly take on a new and very literal meaning as the summer months approach.
And if walking and strolling along is more your speed, you can start at one end of Massachusetts Street and make your way around to the other side.
We truly have a plethora of outdoor venues at our disposal, and that makes it all the more appealing to take our workouts out of doors.
My boot camp participants love the fact that every workout is in a different place, with new things to gaze at and ponder as we sweat it out and make ourselves stronger.
The best thing of all about working out in the great outdoors is simply the fact that it helps to alleviate boredom, which is a very significant factor in why many individuals fall off of the workout wagon in the first place.
I have two very basic moves to share with you this week, and both of them can very easily be done on your patio, your deck or even in your driveway, if that's what you want to do. Open your door and step outside.
I've written about the equipment seen here previously, medicine balls and dumbbells, so you should be a little familiar with them. They are easy to find and travel well, so you can take your fitness show on the road, if you so choose.
As is the case with everything exercise-oriented, form is essential. Always take the time to set yourself properly. Know what muscle groups you are targeting, be mindful of your breathing, and always contract your abdominal muscles.
Give these exercises a try. They are very basic and are good for all fitness levels. There are modifications for everything, so if you need further explanation or a variation, just let me know. Let's get outside, let's step it up, and let's make it count!
Place left knee slightly forward and slightly bent. Hold an 8-pound to 10-pound weight in your right hand, with your right arm perpendicular to the floor. Bend right elbow to lift weight to shoulder level.
Lower and repeat 15 times.
Remember to keep the weight close to your body.
MEDICINE BALL REACHES
Lie on a mat with your legs raised and together. Hold a 5-pound to 10-pound medicine ball on your chest.
Push the ball toward your toes while contracting your abdominals and making sure that your shoulders are off of the mat. Drop back down and repeat 20 times.
Your arms remain extended for the entire time.