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Get out to get fit

By Darren O'Toole | In Outdoor | on April 6, 2014

The weather is now turning and we’re enjoying lighter evenings and generally drier and warmer days (I appreciate if you read this a couple of days after posting, I may look foolish – it is Britain after all), so it seems the perfect time to exercise by embracing the great outdoors.

One area that is on the rise, particularly in the north London area is that of the ‘outdoor adult gyms’. Much of the equipment is similar to that found at indoor gyms with assisted and traditional pull-up bars; benches for triceps dips, back extensions, abdominal crunches and press-ups; cross trainers, recumbent bikes and hand bikes; and a leg press machine. With a little imagination, these will enable most exercisers to target a full-body workout successfully.

Another option is to dust off the running shoes or the bike and get some sun on your back whilst racking up the miles. Using an app such as RunKeeper or MapMyRun will help you to keep track of your distances so you’ll know how much of the gorgeous surroundings you’ve explored.

Or if you don’t have an outdoor gym nearby or don’t fancy pounding the streets then there is still one more alternative – using your own body. There are so many bodyweight exercises which you can do in the garden or in your park but below are a couple of quick workouts guaranteed to leave you sweating!

Workout 1

Duration: 15 minutes
Exercises: 8 press ups; 8 bodyweight squats; 6 burpees
Approach: Set up your stopwatch, at the start of each minute you complete the three exercises. Whatever time is remaining within that minute is your rest time ie, the quicker you work, the longer you rest. Repeat this for the 15 minutes duration. Be aware this is a tough 15 minutes!

Workout 2

Duration 20 minutes
Exercises: mountain climbers; wide press ups; squats; inverted shoulder press; narrow press ups; lunges; abdominal crunches; squat jumps
Approach: For 20 minutes you will work through 15 repetitions of each exercise. You can choose when to rest but the clock doesn’t stop. Once you reach the end of the exercise list, you go straight back to the start. The aim is to complete as many reps in total as possible.

I hope that I’ve given you some food for thought. The weather here is pretty unappealing for much of the year, so embrace it whilst it is nice – and get fit doing so.


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