The World Is Your Gym

s-OUTDOOR-EXERCISES-large300.jpgBusy schedules, vacations and travel for work are the three most frequent excuses I get from my clients about why they can't make it to the gym. Unfortunately for them, I always have suggestions about how we can all break free from the walls of the gym and get a workout in just about anywhere.

Since it's summertime, the best place to get fit is out in the sun. Even if you do have access to a fitness facility, taking it outside can help provide a change of pace and scenery and serve as a wonderful boredom buster. With an added dose of Vitamin D (don't forget to wear sunscreen!) you won't feel like you are wasting a beautiful summer day in the gym, plus you can encourage family and friends to join you. Here are some suggestions for out-of-the-gym fitness moves:

1. Turn a swingset into a TRX System. Find the nearest playground, and use the swings to work your core the way you would the straps of a TRX. Put your feet on the swing and get into plank position. Bend your knees and pull the swing toward you and then release to your original plank. If there are two swings next to each other, try placing one foot on each swing to increase the difficulty of this move. You can also turn around and place your hands on the swing, pushing it in and out for another core exercise.

2. Monkey around. If the playground also happens to include monkey bars, you're in luck! You can do pullups on them, or just try to reach the other side, like you did when you were a kid. This is a great strengthener for your shoulders and back. If there are no monkey bars around, see if you can find a sturdy tree branch to complete a few rounds of pullups on.

3. See a park bench as your new workout bench. Just like the version at the gym, you can use a park bench to complete tricep dips: Place your hands on the edge of the bench and face outward, your hands behind you. With your legs forming a 90-degree angle, lower yourself until you almost touch the ground and then raise yourself back up again. You can also use a park bench to practice your vertical jump. Stand facing the bench, a few inches away. Jump up to land with both feet on top of the bench (make sure no one else is sitting on it, or else you might give them a scare!). These jumps could also be executed on a tree stump or bleacher stairs if all the park benches you see are occupied.

4. Create a cardio challenge. Even though there are no treadmills or stairmills in the great outdoors, you can use stadium stairs, hotel stairs or hilly paths to simulate the same experience. If you find an area with softer dirty or sand, this kind of terrain can be similar to experimenting with incline levels on a treadmill. Try some sprints on various hills and types of ground for a diverse workout.

5. Hop in the pool. If you are lucky enough to be near a pool, swimming laps is an extremely efficient way to burn calories. It is also beneficial to those suffering from asthma, as the water vapors on the surface of the water lubricate your airways, allowing you to potentially complete a longer or more intense cardio session than you might be able to finish on dry land. If you aren't a great swimmer, hold on to the edge of the pool (or a kickboard) and get a great leg workout in by kicking your legs. Instead of the dumbbell lateral raises or front raises you would do in a gym setting, use empty water bottles and push them underwater to create a similar resistance.

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SOURCE: The Huffington Post
Keri Lynn Ford
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