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Fitness: Training in the Great Outdoors

fit 1It was a particularly rough winter here in Columbus and if you’re itching to get outside and soak up some sun you’re definitely not alone.


If the thought of spending an hour stuck inside at the gym on a bright, sunny day has you skipping workouts, not to worry! You can take your routine outside and enjoy the weather while still getting your sweat on.


There are many ways to workout outdoors. One of my favorites is to go to a local High School and run the bleachers, or do sprints on the track.


The stairs at Hoover Dam are also really popular. If you go pack your patience (it’s a popular spot) and some water because you are in for one kick butt sweat sesh.


But you don’t need a stadium or stairs to exercise outside. You can get a great workout with just your body and a picnic table!


So slather on some sunscreen, grab a bottle of water, blast the iTunes and tackle this intense full body workout.

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Party in the Park Workout

Do each exercise in the circuit for 30 seconds, rest 1:00, then repeat the series as many times as you like.


1. Jumping Jacks

This old-school move is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up. Bust out thirty seconds of these and you’ll be sweating in no time.


2. Walking Lunges

Lunges are one of the best single-leg exercises around for toning the lower body. Be sure to focus on keeping the heel of the front foot in contact with the ground, pulling up through your core and keeping your spine neutral.


3. Push-ups

Get on the ground and give me 20! The push-up is a powerful move that builds upper body strength and sculpts beautiful arms, shoulders and upper back. It is also one of the most functional moves to master! Here’s how to do it correctly: on your toes or knees with hands just under the shoulders or slightly wider, draw the abs in keeping the back flat, lower the chest to the ground then exhale as you push back up. Be sure to keep the core tight so there is no arching in the back.


4. Jog

No explanation necessary. Just move those feet!


fit 35. Squats

Want strong, sculpted legs and a nice round booty? Drop it like a squat! This exercise is the best at building a beautiful back half. With your feet about as wide as your hips, hinge at your hips, pushing your butt back like you were going to sit in a chair. Bend your knees as you lower slowly towards the ground, keeping your whole foot in contact with the ground and your chest up. Drive through the heels to come back up to standing.


6. Tricep Dips

Upper arm jiggle? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Find the nearest picnic table and sit facing out. Place your hands with fingers forward on either side of your hips. Slide yourself off the bench, being careful to keep your spine long and your abs in. Bend your elbows, lowering your body down so the upper arm makes a right angle to the ground, then use the strength from the back of the arm to push back up.


7. Picnic table step-ups

Now that your arms are jello, let’s work those legs! Face the picnic table, take your right foot and step up onto the bench. Push yourself up until you are standing on the bench, as you lift your left knee to your chest. Keep your core tight and spine neutral. Step back placing the left foot on the ground, then the right. Repeat starting with the left foot this time.


fit 48. Plank

If you want a strong core then the plank is the way to go! You can’t go wrong with this yoga inspired move. Place the elbows directly beneath the shoulders and forearms on the ground. Pull the abs up towards the spine, coming onto your toes or just above the knees. Be sure your hips are in line with your spine, so they are not sinking down causing the low back to arch or high in the air with your butt up. Hold it as long as possible. Just breathe and enjoy the burn!


After completing this circuit cool down with an easy walk for about five minutes, followed by five minutes of light stretching.



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