Remember those old gym class moves? Add them to your workout!
Posted June 14, 2010
Now that it’s summertime, there’s no reason not to get outside and move around. If you are lucky enough to live near nature, get into the woods and hike. If you live somewhere with more concrete than grass, there are still plenty of urban obstacles to challenge you. So for the many people who don’t like running, let’s rethink the jog and add some spice, combining some other exercises to really work the whole body.
Get a group together and lead an outdoor exercise routine that mixes in a lot of silly and effective movements like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squat jumps and even skipping.
The beauty of this type of outdoor exercise it that there are no rules: just get out there and mix it up. Start with a warm-up—three to four minutes of easy jogging is fine. Let your environment dictate your moves.
If you see a park bench or a low wall, stop and hop onto it, landing softly. If jumping is too hard, simply step up onto the object, step off and repeat alternating legs.
Run or walk briskly to the next landmark. If there is a good view, do some jumping jacks and soak up your surroundings.
Instead of running or walking, try skipping (yes, like a kid) to another spot. Now the choice is yours. Do some jumping jacks or trying jogging in place but raising your knees as high as you can. Or get on all fours and walk like a crab (if you lean backwards) or like a monkey (if you lean forwards).
Get creative and you will never get bored. Before you know it, sweat will be flowing and your heart will be racing—in a good way. What’s also great is that the sweet spot for this type of freeform exercise is 18-20 minutes. Time will pass quickly because of the variety.
Add those traditional gym class moves like sit-ups and side-to-side shuffles, and whatever else pops into your head. The best way is to get a group together and alternate leaders.
Exercise disguised as playing like a kid will keep you in great condition. It’s fantastic cross training, hitting various muscle groups, and teaches your body to become proficient in everyday movements. Besides, you’ll be grinning like a kid, the closest thing to a fountain of youth.
Li Wang is a journalist, communicator and digital media enthusiast who wants more people to enjoy living a healthy life without having to think too much about it. His blog Wiser Health promotes simple and low-cost ways to stay healthy.