Outdoor Exercising

Now that the weather is getting cooler, consider it as a great opportunity for some outdoor exercising.

This past Saturday, the day was so beautiful that I decided to go for a run. WHAT?? Yes, Mirla, went for a run. Although, I am not one to normally run (you’d understand if you read my last post on Sprinting), but once in a while I get a feeling that I just have to run. It’s as if I need to get rid of toxins or release some frustration or something-I don’t know, that my body just craves it. So I decided to go for a run around a neighborhood near my gym. I headed out with no headphones,  just a goal in mind. I was to run around the neighborhood 1 time and go back to the gym (I’m think it was about little over 2 miles or so). Didn’t matter how long I would take, I just knew that I needed to complete it. So I head out and in 24 minutes I was done! Mission accomplished 🙂

Aside from running, there’s something so special about exercising in the outdoors. The fresh air, the openness, the soft breeze that cools off you off, the cars and people that pass by, the self-awareness…I can’t fully describe it, but it’s great option for exercising. And the best part of it all is that no gym membership required. The wonderful thing about it all is that you can do it at any time and practically anywhere. This is a great option for new moms or folks that just don’t have much time to spare. Outdoor exercising will definitely help you build up some exercising confidence while you lose some fat and get stronger!

Not only ‘cardio’ can be done outside. High Intensity Interval types of training such as circuit training or Tabata are especially fun to do in the outdoors and even more so when done with a partner! Basically the trainee goes through a list of timed exercises in sequence with little to no rest between exercises, and then rests for 2 minutes or so and repeats for several sets. The focus here is on intensity, not the amount of reps that are performed.

Here’s an example:

Start with some dynamic stretching for 5-10 minutes. You really want to warm-up completely before starting.

30 sec of Speed Squats

10 sec rest

30 sec of Burpees

10 sec rest

30 sec of Jump Lunges

10 sec rest

30sec of pushups (or modified pushups-knees on floor)

10 sec rest

30 sec Mountain Climbers, neutral spine

Rest 2 minutes and repeat 3-4 more times.

And just like that, you’ve completed a great workout! Just as any strength training program, you may want to start with doing this routine 2 times a week and work yourself up to 3-4 times/week.

So whether you like to run, sprint or strength train, doing it in the outdoors can create a nice change up to your normal routine. So stay active, enjoy the wonderful weather and remember…

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Sprints

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I will start by saying I’m no runner.

Let’s go back in time…I remember 3rd grade gym class, the coach made us run a mile. I ran ‘so fast’ that I tripped on my own feet and scabbed my knee right through my jeans; this of course made me afraid of lap running for the rest of my short elementary career. I dreaded every year when the gym teacher would make us run laps. I would see that most of my classmates were excited to race each other while I would think, “Oh, my sides are going to hurt.” You see my point, from early on, I hated distance running, and I still do.

I did however, as a kid, love-love-love, to play tag and soccer. You might ask, “Isn’t there a lot of running involved?” Why YES, yes there is! Both Tag and Soccer are intense running activities. But if you think about it, it’s not straight distance running. There are short stops/rest then bursts of all out running. And, that my friends is called sprinting.

Aside from the myriad of research that shows that sprint running is the best form of ‘cardio’ for fat loss and is a great addition for muscle building, sprints are very time effective. All you need is 15-30 minutes and you’re done. You can sprint at the track, on a hill, or on stairs; all great variations.

So if you don’t enjoy distance running, try sprinting. For me,  I need something to chase (ball), chase after me (tag), or know that I will be able to rest shorty (sprints).

So if you’re up for it, find a track field and do the following:

As a warm up, jog for 2 laps, and then do some dynamic stretching, then jog another two laps.

Run about 80% of max effort for 100m, rest 2 minutes

100m all out, rest 4 minutes, repeat 5-6 times.

Cool down with some static stretching

If you have a good set of stairs with at least 2-3 flights in it or more do the following:

Warm up with some dynamic stretching for 3-5 minutes. Run up the stairs all-out and walk down, rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-12 sets. Cool down with some static stretching.

Hills sprints are great for the tushy, so find a large hill. Start your workout with some dynamic stretching and with a easy warmup jog up the hill. Then you…

Run up the hill as fast as you can for about 20-30 seconds. Then you walk it down (about 45-60seconds) which is your rest. Immediately repeat for 10-12 sets. Cool down with some static stretching.

If you like it, try sprinting for about 2-3 times a week. It alone is a great way to lose fat, but combined with strength training, results are simply outstanding! It has changed the way I look at when doing I do “cardio,” I actually enjoy it now. I like to take my speed time and try to beat it at every session. I have seen the shape of my legs  change; they are now, more shapely-leaner and stronger. My vertical jump has improved and I feel and look more athletic. Sprinting has also helped me when I played co-ed indoor soccer. I am able to keep up with the running, and chase the ball at full speed. And, it surprisingly helps build some abs! You get the point, sprinting is the full-package when it comes to getting more bang for your buck. So give it a try! You’ll get a great workout out of it!

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