October 21, 2020

Summer Fitness Opportunities By Derek Peruo

Summer is officially here and after a long winter stuck inside, it’s time to get out there and grab some sun! Here are three outdoor locations to visit, along with activities you can do while there, to stay fit and healthy this season.

At the Beach

The beach is perfect for soaking up some vitamin D, which we get from exposure to direct sunlight and is an essential hormone for a healthy body. Just be sure to monitor your exposure time, and occasionally apply high-quality sunblock if you plan on being outside all day. While you’re at the beach, try doing some sprints in the sand. Sand sprints are incredibly challenging at any fitness level, and all you need is a 20-yard stretch of clear beach. Run as fast as you can 6-10 times, recovering 3-5 minutes between sprints.

At the Park

Parks are great for quick bodyweight circuits. Pick 5-6 of your favorite exercises and perform 8-10 reps of each without resting in between. The circuit could look like this:

1) Squat
2) Pushup
3) Forward Lunge
4) Rotating Pushup
5) Side Lunge
6) Mountain Climber

Rest 1-2 minutes after your last exercise, and repeat the circuit 4-5 times.

Parks are also a great place to play frisbee, which will improve hand-eye coordination, agility, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.

In the Woods

Start with a quick hike to your favorite spot. Hiking is an effective form of low-intensity cardio, and the uneven surfaces found in the woods will activate muscles in your feet and calves, improving balance. Consider bouldering, which is a form of rock climbing, that requires much less equipment.

No matter what you do this summer, be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Now go out there and have some fun!

Derek Peruo, CSCS, is the owner of Renaissance Fitness, a personal training service based in New York City. He also writes and consults for magazines such as Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health. http://RenaissanceFitnessInc.com



Ask A Pro by Tera Busker

Question: What exercises can I do while my kids are playing at the park? –Bonnie in OH.

Do a circuit-style workout consisting of six exercises. Each exercise should be done for 30 seconds or 15 reps each. After completing one exercise, move right into the next exercise without rest. After all six exercises are complete, take a 60 second rest. Beginners should stop the workout after one circuit and move right into the cool down. Progress to performing three circuits of all six exercises for a 30 Minute Park Workout.

Start warming up your muscles by taking a 5 minute walk or light jog around the park.

Platform Pushups
Find a platform that is about waist high, for example a step on the jungle gym. Place your hands about shoulder width apart on the platform. Keeping the back flat, core tight and hips down, perform a pushup.

Bench Step Ups
Using a bleacher or a bench, step up on to it with your left foot. Use and up, up, down, down cadence. After 30 seconds, switch and step up starting with your right leg.

To get into the plank position, start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the ground, being careful not to arch your back or lift your hips.

Walking Lunges
With your right leg, lunge forward about three feet until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee is nearly touching the ground. Pause momentarily and then repeat the forward motion with your left leg. Lunge forward for 30 seconds and turn around and lunge back the way you came. To make this exercise harder, try doing the walking lunges up a hill.

Bench Dips
To do the bench dip, go back to your bleacher or park bench and have a seat. Grab the edge of the bench keeping your hands close to your hips. Walk your feet forward slightly until your hips are off of the platform and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Bending your shoulders and elbows, drop your hips straight down towards the floor about six inches. Push yourself back up.

Hanging Abs
Hang from the high monkey bars, arms bent or straight. Pull your knees up towards your chest and then lower them back to your starting position. Be sure to keep the movement slow and controlled. Remember – this is an ab exercise, so your abs should be doing the work, not the legs. Try not to use the momentum and swing the legs.

Walk around the park for 5 minutes at a slow pace to cool down. Finish off the workout by stretching the muscles you just worked.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net