The US Surgeon General recommends finding fitness in your own back yard. She reminds us this is key to getting this nation back in shape. Chicago offers a lakefront of parks, beaches and biking trails to utilize to get your body moving. Exercising outdoors not only releases good feeling endorphins, it also improves brain health and reduces harmful stress hormones by breathing in the fresh air.
It’s easy to walk or bike your way fit in the park but here are some workouts from NBC Chicago’s fitness coaches, Andrea Metcalf, Sergio Rojas and Saran Dunmore, that are fun, effective, and produce results!
Sergio Rojas, Redefined Fitness & Physical Therapy
Wide open spaces deliver 360 training.
Lunges are a great way to tone the lower body but sometimes space is limited in your home or apartment. Use the wide open grassy areas of the parks to train three-dimensionally. This type of training burns more calories, hits the weak muscles that stabilize the core and prevent injury. Start with a basic lunge and alternate stepping forward utilizing the following upper body movements. Repeat each move below for 6-10 sets for a total of 30-50 exercises in total.
– Arms overhead to the front
– Arms leading the body to twist right
– Arms leading the body to the left
– Arms overhead to the right side
– Arms overhead to the left side
This routine should take about 5 minutes and is a perfect warm for a run or an after workout tension-relieving, dynamic stretch.
For the upper body try this push up routine.
Start in push up position with wide hands just below the shoulders. Perform pushups with hands changing position listed below for 4-8 repetitions of each variation for a total of 20-40 pushups. Take a break in between sets as needed.
– Hands wide at chest line
– Right hand above shoulder with left hand below chest line
– Left hand above shoulder with right hand below chest line
– Hands in triangle position with fingers elbows out to the sides
– Hands parallel position with elbows bending in line with the rib cabe
This routine should take about 5 minutes and builds upper body and core strength.
Be sure to check out all three parts of this article. Part 1, part 2, part 3. For more tips on fitness, health and living better, turn to www.nbcchicago.com