Happy Trails Everyone,
I have been teaching Fitness classes for 26 years and Yoga for 15. Come the warmer months I love adapting simple exercises through the trails I have in my neighbourhood. I am a mother of 3 and a Cancer Survivor so if I can do this you can too!
This is a great time of year to be out and about. Walking/running through the forest is a great workout because it's not only great for your health but it clears your mind, brings oxygen into your brain, blood and body making you healthy, fit and fabulous.
I hope you like some of the exercises and tips that I have adapted from the indoors to the outdoors.
If I had more time as I just saw this contest I would have loved to add a Yoga workout for you as well.
This is me and my phone camera so things are not perfect or photoshopped in anyway.
Step 1: Equipment Needed
When you're planning to workout for 1-2hrs you need some provisions to be safe.
Carry equipment you need depending on the weather.
1. Water (non disposable or disposable) is up to you. Be conscientious don't litter, recycle.
2. Sun screen
3. Bug repellent
5. Proper clothes.
If you have a dog, bring him/her with you if it makes you feel safer and it's a great day for Fido.
Mid morning and late afternoon before dark there are less bugs out. Tonnes when it has rained or it's humid out.
Try not to go into wooded areas when it's dark.
Running/Walking with ear buds; use only 1 in your ear keeping the other ear aware of noises around you.
Always tell someone your route and approx. how long you'll be. Just in case of injuries. Your phone may not connect if you are in forests/valleys.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
*Any 1 or all of these exercises can be added to your daily routine*
Step 2: WARM UP
If you don't live near a park or forest, walk the neighbourhood. I'm lucky, I live 1km away from a fabulous forest.
Start walking~after about 200mtrs, stretch your muscles. Why? This prevents injuries from uneven ground or just muscle tightness. All stretches should be held for a 4-8 second count. Any longer and you will be bug lunch!
These are just a few stretches that can be utilized before and after your workout.
1. Grab your ankle and gently bring heel to hip; stretching front hip flexor.
2. Using the same leg, lift knee to height of your hip; stretching gluts.
3. Open up hip lifting knee to the side; stretching inner thigh at pelvis
4. Place same leg forward, flex ankle, toes up and reach for your toes. (sorry camera timer); stretches hamstring.
5. Place same leg back into a lunge; stretching calves. Arms shoulder height, fingers intertwined; push away, stretching upper back mucles.
Repeat on other side.
Step 3: Standing Exercises
1. Squat; legs hip width apart; sit as low as your knees allow
2. Lift up and Abduct 1 leg; this works the Glut Med./Hip/Outer Thighs
Repeat 4-8 times then switch to other leg
1. Squat; narrow
2. Crossover twist; Bring opposite elbow to knee; working Hips, Gluts, Transverse Abs,
Repeat 4-8 times then switch to other leg
How many you do is up to you. The longer you stay in one spot the faster the bugs find you.
Step 4: Upright Rows Using a Dead Branch
Continue walking/running the path. Look ahead but on the ground because it's usually not completely balanced.
If you find a dead branch....lets do some weights.
1.Feet hip width apart. Palms placed down, hands shoulder width apart
2. Lean Spine 45 degrees forward, pull shoulders back and down, chest out. Tail bone back and up to the sky.
3. Pull the branch towards your body, elbows back pulled in tight.
Repeat 4-8 x's
4. Stand up straight; hands down by your legs;
5. Bend arms at elbows completing bicep curls; 8-12 reps
6. Turn the palms up and hold the branch up for 8-12 counts performing an anterior shoulder isometric contraction.
Step 5: Lunges
Lunges are great for the Butt and Legs
1. Place branch on shoulders behind head but not pressed against the cervical spine. Palms down.
2. Step back landing on your toes. Bend the back knee. Front knee and ankle are stacked.
Repeat 4-8 x's Switch to other leg.
Elevated Lunge: Take a giant step forward onto an elevated surface (bench). Bend the front knee keeping it stacked over ankle. Push foot onto bench and push off engaging the heel/calf/hamstring back to standing.
Repeat 4x's on same leg to fatigue then switch to other foot.
Walking lunge: Step forward keeping knee over ankle.
Bend back knee as in step 2. Lift back knee and lunge forward. Bend the back knee and repeat. Traveling into a walking lunge.
*weight is an option*
Continue walking/running your path.
Step 6: Elevated Plank & Push Ups
During my walk/run I have the pleasure of working on this low bench that looks like something Fred Flintstone would have had in his times. Anyone my age will know who this is...lol....
1. Place knees on ground and back up onto bench.
2. Elevate feet
3. Hands, elbows and shoulders aligned. Engage abdominals, lifting chest. Hold for 12-15 secs.
Variation: Advanced Abs/hips/shoulders/chest
1. Bring knee to chest or nose.
2. Bring knee to opposite shoulder.
3. Bring knee to same shoulder opening hip.
Repeat to other side.
Begin as in 2nd pic
Bend elbows bringing upper body down towards the ground;inhaling
Push up and away from ground; exhaling forcefully
Repeat 4-8 x's
Off you go walking/running
Step 7: Elevated Back Split Lunge
This exercise is great for the glutes!
1. Place toes on bench
2. Lean back to straighten the posture
3. Look down..can you bend your knee and see your toes? Step forward more if you can't.
Bend the back knee as low as you can go. Feel the front hip flexor stretch on the back extended leg.
Repeat on the same leg 4x's
Switch to other leg.
Step 8: Steps/Crawling/Killer ABS/Butt
This is a great way for your whole body to move.
This exercise can be done on any steps anywhere or on grassy hills.
Climb up on your hands and feet and climb back down backwards.
You thought you'd never have to walk like a child again!
Step 9: Tricep Dips
This exercise can be done anywhere!
Here you see me perched on my back steps and a park bench.
1. Fingers facing your back
2. Walk the feet out...the further from you the harder!
3. Toes facing up
4. Bend the elbows 45-90degrees
5. Push back up; exhaling
6. Standing or sitting bring 1 arm over your head and grab the opposite elbow for a count of 8. Switch arms.
7. Bring arm across the chest. With opposite arm pull arm towards body stretching back shoulder blade.
Step 10: Cardio/Glutes
If you find any park benches/boulders/steps...climb them!
Great for your heart/lungs/legs/back/abs/glutes
Step 11: ABS 101
Lying supine (on your back)
Hands behind the head, fingers unclasped!
Feet slightly apart
Lift the shoulders off the floor/table
Can you do 30?
Can you crossover to the opposite knees? (engage the abs so your hips don't move)
There are 100's of variations...keep it simple
Step 12: Planks/Side Planks/Variations
Planks are short and sweet and target the abs and shoulders as you get stronger you will know by how long you can hold a plank...on grass or the forest remember those pesky bugs!
1. Plank; shoulders and elbows aligned, hands clasped
2. Ankles flexed in
3. Abs engaged at the core
4. Chest lifted
One foot ontop of the other foot; switch
One foot lifted off floor; switch
Turn sideways; place one foot ontop or infront of the other; lift hip off floor, hands support hips/ribs/shoulders.
Arm lifted towards the sky; this adds weight to the body making it more difficult to hold the pose.
Arm and leg lifted off the floor adding weight to the whole body; advanced
Step 13: Obsticle Course
There is a school on my way home and I just happened to see pylons preventing unwanted parking...so I used them!
Walk or jog around the pylons.
Are you tired yet?
Step 14: Lets Stretch
Remember stretching is to prevent injuries but also to get rid of the Lactic Acid build up from all of the exercises which make you still the next day...so stretch...here are some ways you can stretch.
1. 1 leg straight out, 1 knee bent in towards the body. Reach for your toes to stretch: hips/back/ham/back of knee
2. Same knee in. Bring the long leg out to your side. Reach over your head to stretch ribs/inner thigh.
3. Closed yoga twist. Bring long leg over bent knee. Hug with the opposite arm. Lengthen spine. Back hand press into ground to engage triceps.
4. Same hand, same leg. Grab ankle and pull the leg back stretching the front hip flexor...repeat all steps on other leg.
5. No grass? Use cable/line boxes on streets. By lifting your leg, lunging or lengthening you can get similar effects.
6. Balance is challenged? Grip the fence and stretch using the same guides.
I hope you have enjoyed these outdoor exercises and utilize them in the near future.
If you love it I would love a vote! Cheers~~~
Runner Up in the
Outdoor Fitness Challenge