By Let’s Move Quad Cities Get Fit blogger, Cody Lichthardt, CPT, Rock Valley Health
Summer weather is finally here and if you are like me, I’m spending more time outdoors. Every summer, I look, feel, and perform my best, all while spending the least amount of time in the gym. Sounds good right?
Moving outdoors is a great alternative to the gym and there are many ways to get in your fitness without dreading the “workout.”
Being in a constantly changing environment, burning more calories, saving money, meeting neighbors, and increasing family time all has an upside.
You’ll also feel better, have more energy, and less stress, tension, confusion, and depression.
To feel better and stronger, check out my 4 tips to stay fit this summer.
1. Yard work
We’ve all got to mow, right? Well, do double duty and count the work as exercise!
Carrying and pushing heavy objects can be rewarding and effective at helping you achieve your goals. There is a reason the “farmer carry” is popular as a conditioning exercise in many gyms!
I use a push mower to mow the lawn and stack hay bales for a local farmer to make some extra cash. Get that ‘to-do-list’ done and get fit at the same time.
2. Summer sports
Sports count as exercise, no matter what your favorite activity.
I play slow pitch softball and golf during the summer months.
Softball can be a great form of HIIT (high intensity interval training), while walking (not driving a cart) for a round of golf is a good form of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) or active recovery.
Sign up for a local league, tournament or outing, but be careful not to consume too many empty calories that are often associated with these events.
3. Hit a park bench or outside gym for Body Weight Resistance Training
Body weight training is my favorite form of resistance training, as using your own body weight is a functional workout that requires minimal equipment.
Walk, run, or bike to your local outdoor fitness equipment (you can often find it along bike paths and parks) and perform exercises such as the chest press machine, pull-up, dip, and step-up using just your body weight for resistance.
Your community may not have all of these particular pieces of equipment, but you can substitute exercises for the ones listed. For example, if you don’t have access to an outdoor chest press machine, do a push-up variation instead.
On rainy days, improvise at home!
4. Indoor workouts can work outside, too.
As someone who works in a gym, it may seem odd that I am telling you to get outside of it, but you can take equipment into your yard and work out there.
When the weather is nice, I suggest taking your sunscreen, bug spray, towel, and water bottle outdoors with a few weights and do your workout in your backyard. A jump rope will add the cardio element. Enjoy!
Cody Lichthardt is a Performance Enhancement Specialist at Quad City Sport Performance and a Certified Personal Trainer at Rock Valley Health. Cody works to help others gain the benefits of training and proper nutrition. You can read Cody’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.