Health wellness



Now, more than any other time in recent history, is the perfect time to get outdoors and utilize our cities green spaces. This article is for our readers who may be feeling a little hesitant about exercising outside of the home. If your city's gyms have reopened or if they’re still closed, Vox says, pulling from research by MIT’s Lydia Bourouiba“[...]increasing your distance, decreasing the duration of your exposure, and improving the ventilation of the air around you can all lower your risk. And being outdoors generally helps you do all three.”

Basically, moving to outdoor spaces is safer for everyone (just try to avoid crowding and times the park will be busy.) But before moving your routine to the park, make sure to plan ahead. If a workout is going to use a park bench or playground equipment, be considerate just like you would be in the gym. 

Strap on a fanny pack, and try these safety suggestions: carry alcohol-based or antiviral wipes, hand sanitizer, and a sweat towel. 

  • Wipe down monkey bars (or park-provided workout equipment) before and after use, it’s the same practices we do in the gym. 

  • Use hand sanitizer after using park benches or stairs for upper body exercises. 

  • Use a sweat towel, and not your hands to wipe away sweat (I like to make sure I’m only using one side of the towel for my face, and only touching one side with my hand by keeping the towel folded neatly at my waist.) 

    Exercising outdoors may not seem as high-tech as a gym, but it can be just as high-impact. With a good routine, triggering fat-burning isn’t reliant on the location. 



    Ways To Burn Off Fat, Get Fit, Stay Fit, and Have Fun Working Out Outdoors

    #1 Conquer The Stairs

    Stairs are a great fat-blasting workout. Of course, if you take to stair running (or walking) in your park, keep in mind social distancing practices. If you see someone coming toward you while you’re running stairs do your best to maintain 6ft between you and the passerby, says UC Davis Health News Room. 


    Photo sourced from unsplash.com


    Here’s what Livestrong says about stair running: 

    Running stairs can help you burn belly fat, and fast. It's a type of high intensity interval training, or HIIT, which studies have shown is effective at helping to burn away belly fat more efficiently than traditional steady-state exercise, such as jogging.”

    Want to know how many calories you’ll burn based on body weight, duration, and type of stair workout? Try this link to my favorite stair calorie burn calculator at Captain Calculator.


    #2 Get A Killer Full Body Workout By Using A Park Bench

    Incline Push-Ups:

    Active.com says, try doing 10 pushups with your hands on the seat of the bench to really get the core burning. Try following it up with 10 more push-ups with your hands close together to work triceps and the upper back. 

    Mountain Climbers (Incline):

    via GIPHY


    Toss some mountain climbers in with the pushups and you’ve got a full body routine going.

    You’re going to put your hands on the bench, and drive your knees to your hands in a running position.

    One fitness professional told Huffington Post, Realistically, if you're a beginner, Briant said to start by doing 10-15 mountain climbers in a row. If you're a little more advanced, sets of 25-30 is a good goal.”


    #3 Find A Tree To Exercise

    Tree Sits:

    You may be thinking wall sits were just something your volleyball coach had you do as some sort of conditioning torture, but they’re actually worth it. Don’t just take my word for it, Chuze Fitness says, So are wall sits effective? The short answer is: Yes. You'll work your hamstrings, and the abductor muscles in your inner thighs will also feel a burn—if you're doing the exercise correctly.” Of course since you’re working out in the park, don’t look for a wall, just find a solid tree. 


    #4 Monkey Bars Exercise

    Monkey bars aren’t just for pull-ups, you can try these exercises as well:

    Hanging Knee Raises ( Hanging Knee Tucks):


    Photo Sourced From Popsugar.com

    Barbend.com says that hanging knee tucks are great for building the core stability you need to safely practice other motions like squats or gymnastics. If you’re wondering how many to perform you can try this advice from them: 

    “Sets and reps widely vary. For muscular endurance, perform 3-5 sets of 12-20 repetitions. For strength and hypertrophy, aim for 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions.”

    Hanging (Dead Hangs):

    Dead hangs are popular with those who are working their way up to a full pull up, but it’s also really great if you’ve been experiencing some back tightness. Healthline.com says: “[..]to improve your upper body strength. Dead hangs also help stretch out and decompress the spine.” But make sure to work your way up in small time increments to avoid injury.


    #5 Utilize Ledges + Barriers To Get a Great Workout

    Skip Ups:

    photo of skip ups from self.com

    Photo from Self.com

    An explosive plyometric( jumping) exercise you can definitely add to your park routine for solid buns. Self Magazine says, There are many ways to get a great sweat, but plyometrics have an X factor that a lot of other workouts don't: Making you super-sculpted and very agile.” Just make sure to take it easy on your knees. 

    Self.com says to perform Step-ups in the park and tone your thighs,  “1. Start by: Standing facing the bench, arms by sides. 2. Quickly step right foot onto bench, driving left arm forward, and jump straight up. 3. Land on your right leg (on the bench) and immediately step back down to start. *Do 20 reps, alternating legs each time.

    Elevated Lunge (Bulgarian Split squat):

    The Glute Guy a.k.a. Bret Contreras, says “They (Bulgarian Split Squats) highly activate the quadriceps, they create glute damage due to the eccentric stretch loading, and they build single leg stability.” But in non-fitness speak, they build killer glutes. Just to quote Livestrong.com for proof, “When certain variables are taken into consideration, the Bulgarian split squat can make your butt bigger.”


    Photo from Self.com

    If you’re not new to the Bulgarian Split Squat, and want to take it up a notch. Try Self.com’s Elevated Lunge and Twist, “Lower into lunge and slowly bring the opposite elbow across to knee.”