You probably don't know that simply by taking your running routine out of the gym you increases calorie burn by about 5 percent, thanks to wind and varied terrain. Or that the work your body does to keep its thermostat steady while outside helps you torch calories by yet another 7 percent. Between that and the stress-reducing bennies of being in nature, it's enough to make us ditch the fluorescents for the sun.
Why the park for your workout? It has fantastic fitness tools, like swings, benches, and monkey bars. We asked exercise physiologist Tom Holland, a personal trainer in Darien, Connecticut, to put a new spin on some of his favorite moves of all time-squats, lunges, and chinups.
Do these moves shown below as a circuit-going immediately from one move to the next. That's one set. Rest for two minutes, then repeat for a total of three sets. Nice work. You've earned a trip to the Good Humor truck.
BENCH JUMP Works core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and heart
Begin by standing on a one- to two-foot-high backless park bench with your knees slightly bent and your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height (A). Jump down so you're straddling the bench (B). Jump back onto the bench, landing with your feet together. Continue jumping down and up as quickly as possible for 20 seconds.
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MONKEY-UPS Works biceps, core, and back
Jump up and grab a monkey bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing you. Hang from the bar with your arms straight, your knees slightly bent, and your ankles crossed (A). Pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar (B). Take three seconds to lower yourself. Do up to 10 reps.
SWING LUNGE Works glutes, hamstrings, and quads
Stand with your back about one giant step from a one- to two-foot-high swing. Reach back with your right foot and place your toes on the seat (A). With your arms at your sides, sink into a lunge until your left thigh is parallel to the ground (B). Slowly return to start. That's one rep. Do 10, then repeat on the other side.
SWING PIKE PUSHUP Works shoulders, biceps, chest, core, and back
Get in plank position with the tops of your feet on the seat of a one- to two-foot-high swing (A). Press your arms and feet down as you lift your hips toward the sky so your body is in a pike position (B). Lower your hips to the starting position, then immediately sink down into a pushup (C). That's one rep. Do 10.
Tell us: What's Your Favorite Outdoor Exercise???
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