The complacency of modern life has turned us into standard-lovers. When it comes to exercising, the standard we tend to embrace most of the time is THE GYM. Very few of us conceive working out outside the gym especially when the weather begins to cool down. Well, this winter we are planning to keep you out of the gym and present you with a different approach to keeping fit through the holiday season. Taking up a winter sport like skiing, ice skating or hockey might be a good idea, yet most of these activities require planning ahead and travelling. However, with hardly any equipment, working out in the open can be fun and less costly.
30 minutes is all you need for an outdoor full-body workout routine that will give your immune system a boost and make you look like a million dollars. Don’t overdo a good thing, listen to your body and rest when you need to.
Ready to Start? Up the Stairs!
Start slowly jogging up and down a set of stairs. If there aren’t any stairs around, a hill or steep slope will do. Repeat the exercise five times (jog up the stairs or the hill and back down is one exercise) allowing 5 to 10 seconds long breaks if you feel the need. Stay active during the break doing lunges or stretches (or squats if you prefer). Repeat the exercise for up to 10 seconds on each side.
Jumping Jacks & Burpees
Take it up a notch and do 20 jumping jacks and then 20 burpees. Allow 10 to 30-second breaks in between exercise sets. Repeat each exercise five times to put your heart to work! If this is too easy for you, try a jumping jack-burpee combo for a change. You start with a jumping jack, then hop back into a burpee and finish with another jumping jack. This is both fun and physically engaging as it recruits all your muscles.
According to Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, CrossFit nutritionist and trainer, one burpee alone is a great cardio conditioning tool as by jumping up and down repeatedly it dramatically accelerates your heart rate and stimulates your cardiac muscle. In combination with jumping jacks, its benefits double.
Tone Up Those Arms!
Find a bench (no, not for resting) or a low wall and perform 20 tricep dips. Next, put your hands on the surface and slightly pull yourself up in an elevated push up position and you can easily predict what comes next - 20 push ups!
Pump It Up!
We love a cardio workout! Perform 20 jumping toe taps and 20 high knee hops. Unlock your knees when landing to prevent collapsing in your standing leg. Jog for about 10 minutes to keep your heart rate up.
If it’s not freezing cold and the grass is not wet, doing a few side planks for 30 seconds on each side would be an amazing exercise. Then do a regular plank for 30 seconds (or switch between these two if it suits you better). Maintain plank pose for a few seconds, then go down on your forearms and up on your hands 20 times. If you’re tired, take a 10-30 seconds break.
Complete your workout with 20 bicycle crunches, then lay on the ground with your legs lifted towards the sky. Bend your knees at a right angle, stretch out your arms and hold them straight toward your toes.Crunch up and hold, pushing your arms up and down. Repeat the exercise 20 times. Then lower your feet and pull yourself up into a bridge pose. Lift your bum above the ground, tuck in your pelvis and your stomach. Pulse slightly for a count of 20.
Master Bench Barre
This is a hot leg workout if you want to rival with prima ballerinas. Go back to your bench or low wall and use it as your barre (the horizontal rail that ballerinas use to practice). Stand on your toes and do a plié keeping your hand on the bench backrest, bending your knees and projecting your feet to your sides heel to heel. Then, pulse your other arm to your side and hold this pose for 20 seconds. Return to your initial position and lift your leg up to the side, then the other. Do 20 reps of this with each leg.
If this routine does not appeal to you, try trail running. Apart from enjoying the constant change of setting alternating mountain, slope, narrow roads or even forest landscape, this kind of physical training reduces the risk of injuries by engaging and conditioning all your muscle groups.
Snow Sprinting Anyone?
If you enjoy winter and the snow, why not make the most of it running or walking lunges in the snow. Engaging all your muscle groups, this exercise is not only fun but it also helps you slim down as it burns more calories than a regular workout challenging your muscles to the max with every move.