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Your Tewksbury Today

Not Near Your Gym? No Problem, You Can Still Work Out

Jun 07, 2016 11:13AM ● By Bill Gilman

Trainer Kait Taylor shows how you can work out and enjoy the great outdoors at the same time.

I laugh when members come into the gym and complain about air conditioning.

All I want to respond with it, "Have you SEEN how beautiful it is out there?"

During this time of year, I try to take as many of my workouts outside as possible. Sometimes a girl just needs a bench and a squat rack, but if my workout require no or little equipment, you can bet I’m out squatting in the sunshine.

Do it for the sake of breaking up the monotony of the gym, or do it because you’re on vacation and you have no equipment available. On a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, every one of my workouts was done outside, barefoot in the sand or grass.

We have gotten very attached to our air conditioning and Wi-Fi, but it’s very beneficial for that animal brain of yours (the one that wants plants instead of Cheetos) to get outside. Fresh air will give you a clear head and sunshine provides you with Vitamin D, a hormone essential for building a strong body. Switch out the screens for the green of the grass the fluorescent lighting for the blue in the sky. Remember how much you played outside as a kid? Time to get some of that back.

You have so many options: hiking, running/walking (maybe with a pet?), swimming at the beach, outdoor volleyball, biking … the options are really endless. Want to workout with other people? Join a sports league, take a beach yoga class,  or check out if there’s outdoor bootcamp or running club nearby.

These are mostly cardio options that probably don’t take much thought. If you’ve had interest to run, walk or bike outside, it’s probably already in your plan or goal. But think outside the four walls of the room your in and take your strength training outside, too.

Here are some examples of bodyweight exercises you can do outside with no equipment:

  • Squats
  • Glute bridges
  • Step-ups on a park bench
  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Squat jumps/broad jumps/box jumps on a bench
  • Any variation of an ab exercise on your back (leg lifts, crunches, rollups, V-ups)
  • Any balance exercise
  • Pullups at a playground

If you’re sitting there reading and thinking, well that’s great Kait, but I have no idea how to perform those exercises correctly or how to string them together with sets and reps for a workout.

To you I say, it sounds like you could use a little coaching and guidance from a trainer, so you will have the ability to take your workouts outside for the rest of your LIFE. I’d say that’s a worthy investment.

To be clear, I am DEFINITELY not throwing out the need for gyms. If you live in a rough neighborhood, have terrible allergies, get light-headed in the sun, have no grass or can’t get to a nearby open space, require special equipment, etc., by all means, go to the gym! But if you can take advantage of all the beauty the world has outside your door, DO IT. I’ll take running with a beach or trail view over the treadmill EVERY time.

A few words of caution/safety:

*When you are new to working out in warmer temperatures, start out with a morning workout when it’s cooler in the day.

*Make sure to hydrate before, during and after your workouts

*Ideally, do not workout alone or in the dark. Even with another person, tell someone where you’re going.

*Take a phone with you

*If you are going on a run/walk/hike/bike ride, try not to stray TOO far from your house. There’s a difference between getting outside your comfort zone and getting lost in the woods.

Happy trails!

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