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Workouts to Try Outdoors

Workouts to Try Outdoors

by Tanner Neuberger, PT, DPT, TDN Level 1Leave a Comment

Our nation is currently in the middle of a pandemic that has caused various forms of lock down, shutdowns, shelter-in-place and much more. Due to these restrictions, many businesses have been closed, some are re-opening to some degree, or a few have gone out of business completely. This degree of uncertainty has extended to gyms, fitness centers, Crossfit boxes and various other workout facilities and has placed worry on the shoulders of those who want to continue with their fitness journey. But what do you do when working out at home gets too monotonous for your liking? Going outside is a great choice! Barring hazardous weather events, the great outdoors are never closed and they can be a great way to get access to a workout. The following will be workout recommendations that will be based on various levels of equipment available to the general public. I will highlight two great resources specifically.

Track Workouts

These workouts will assume that you have the ability to use a local track for your workouts. Most area high schools will have a track and often these are open to the public, but call your local high school just to be sure.

  • Lap Walking or Running: Simply go for a walk or run, using a set point (a lap) as your distance marker. Each lap is 400 meters and 4 laps will be a mile. Be sure that you start slow and progress slow to avoid overuse injuries. A good rule of thumb for starting out would be to start with less than you think you can do. For those who want a little more guidance getting started, you could jog/run the straight portions of the track and walk during the curved portions.
  • Cross Training: One easy way to add some more variety to a track workout would be to add some cross training. In this instance, it would mean adding challenges to your running/jogging. At the end of your laps, you can set an amount of push-ups, squats, jumps, etc. to complete before running another lap. This gives your body an increased challenge that will aid in keeping running from becoming monotonous.

Playground Workout

Playgrounds are a great option to get a variety of different workouts in and they are readily available throughout different neighborhoods. Some cities even have playgrounds dedicated to workout-specific equipment! They’re a great source of both upper and lower body exercise options. These will likely be a new stimulus for your body and through the novelty of new exercise, could lead to some soreness following a workout. Please be sure your local playground is open before using the location for your workout.

  • Circuit workout: Pick anywhere from 4-8 exercises and perform them in succession. I recommend resting anywhere from 10-15 seconds between exercises and anywhere from 1-3 minutes of rest in between rounds; with 2-5 total rounds being sufficient for a workout. Feel free to try any of the following common exercises as part of the circuit: push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, split squats, jumping, monkey bar swings, etc. The options are endless if you are creative enough! If you’re reading this and you are uncertain of where to start, give this nickel and dime workout a try:
    • 5 jumps onto a low height item (curb/ low stair)
    • 10 push-ups
    • 5 lunge split jumps
    • 10 inverted rows
    • 5 squat jumps
    • 10 monkey bar swings

Repeat the circuit 2-4 more times per fitness level/fatigue.

Getting outdoors is a great way to use the environment around you to workout. It’s easily accessible, it’s free and it’s a good way to interact within your community. There are many state and national parks that are begging to be explored (if they’re open, of course). Be safe and courteous to those around you and bring headphones if you want to avoid distractions. And please, bring plenty of water, especially if temperatures and humidity are high. Make sure to start easy and progress slowly to minimize injury risk. Contact your local Athletico today and a therapist can help curate a program for you, ensure safety while exercising, or address any new aches and pains you may be experiencing during your workouts.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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