The sun is shining, the days are long – so now you have no excuse not to get moving outside! Here are our top tips for using Mother Nature’s free gym to get your summer fitness fix:
- That park bench isn’t just for sitting on… Use it for push-ups (ten with your feet on the ground and hands on the bench, then ten more with your feet on the bench and hands on the ground), as well as for “hill running” – with your hands on the bench and your body stretched out (feet on the ground), “run” by pulling each knee to your chest alternately for 30 seconds. Phew!
- Find a hill. It doesn’t have to be a big one. Now, run up and down it for 3 minutes. Finish by running back up it, backwards. Do this three times over the course of your work-out. (Don’t forget to stretch out your calf muscles at the very end!)
- Get on yer bike! The wind drag will result in more calories burned than if you were at the gym. Not to mention the nicer scenery! (Just don’t forget your helmet, or you might end up feeling more (road) drag than you’d bargained for…)
- Go back to that hill, and stand at the bottom, sideways – your feet more than shoulder-distance apart, your right foot higher on the hill. Bend your knees to lower yourself into a low squat then stand, and take a step sideways, up the hill. Repeat the squat, and step sideways. Repeat, ten times in all. Run back down the hill and squat your way back up again, sideways, this time leading with your left foot.
- Shoo the kids off of the playgrounds monkey bars and claim them as your own. Hang from them, monkey-like, put your feet together, and then slowly raise both knees to your chest, pause, then lower them back. Aim for 10 – 12.