Blushing Beaut — July 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

Swap the Stairmaster for Sunscreen: Your Guide to Working Out…Outside!

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Written by Kasheda Daum

New York City is home to many green parks, playgrounds, and tracks –make the most of them this summer! Everyday outdoor decor, from benches to swings, all can be utilized for a great workout with the proper instructions.  Along with creating your own scenic sans equipment routines, NYC hosts a variety of free fitness programs offered out in the open to the community year round.

Tree Plank

Tree Plank

Target your abs, back, chest & shoulders while getting in touch with nature! Here’s how:

       On all fours, face your back to a tree trunk, creating a distance of a few feet. Keep your elbows tucked underneath your shoulders and both forearms on the ground.

       Straighten your legs one at a time and walk them up the tree while keeping your body parallel to the ground.

       Hold this position for 10 seconds, then rest for another 10 & repeat.

Bench Leg Raises

Bench Leg Raises

            Work that butt with a bench!

       Stand at least a foot in front of a bench (with your back to the bench) with your hands clasped in front of your hands, elbows bent.

       Lift right leg and straighten in front of you 4 inches off the ground & bend left knee to sit down on bench.

       Keep right leg raised & stand up immediately while pressing through left heel to straighten left leg.

       Switch legs and repeat, 12 reps.

Swing Mountain Climber

Swing Mountain Climbers

           Perfect for days at the park!

       Begin in a push-up position with both palms on the seat of the swing and your feet on the ground.

       Keeping your lower back stable, bring one knee in toward your chest,  then return it to starting position.

       Alternate knees and repeat for 45 seconds, increasing your speed to add intensity.

If you are looking for a more tailored workout regime, New York City has some great outdoor fitness programs to choose from:

Free and fun, FITiST is a membership service that offers a variety of fitness classes for many NYC gyms. You can try out workshops offered every week at Hudson River Park. They offer high-intensity trainings, boot camps, and fitness cardio at different studios.  The FITiST program is running from Tuesday June 18th through Tuesday August 20th.  For more information visit fitist.com.

Spaces like Union Square and Central Park are not only landmarks of the city, but exceptional venues for exercise. From Thursday June 20th through Thursday August 15th, in Union Square’s South Plaza, running courses led by weekly instructors are offered for those looking to join running clubs. Cardio and strength-training courses are taking place from Tuesday July 18th to Thursday August 15th in the Central Park circuit, as well. For more information visit unionsquarenyc.org and centralparknyc.org.

Exercises that feel like less like work and more like play are always fun. Spicing up your workout this summer is a great way to explore nature and get familiar with green territory.  If you’re simply looking into switching up your fitness routine, or want to ease your way into working out –minus the gym commitment –there’s no place like the great outdoors!

Images via Self, Whole Living, & Healthy Living Blogs.


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