Take it Outside
Now that the weather is a bit warmer, why not grab your running shoes and head outside? After being cooped up inside all winter, spring is a great time to spice up your workout by getting outside.
There are lots of great activities and exercises you can perform outdoors to take advantage of the weather – including this fun fitness outdoor boot camp. Best of all, it doesn’t require a drill sergeant screaming instructions at you, either! This boot camp-inspired program is as fun as it is intense, giving you a quick total body workout that doesn’t require any equipment. And with the spring weather, you can stay out longer in the sun without worrying about burning – and get some much-needed vitamin D while you’re burning calories, too. Recent research is looking into whether vitamin D deficiency leads to obesity, which suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D may actually help us lose weight!
Start with five to ten minutes of light jogging or brisk walking to warm up your muscles and get the blood flowing. Without a proper warm up, you increase the risk of injury. If you’re walking, stand tall and pump your arms to get them involved, too.
Exercise 1: Walking Lunges
These are great for shaping and toning your butt and thighs. It’s worth noting that working your large muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes) helps to build them up and actually increase your fat-burning potential. Aim to do 20 in a row, then walk for one minute and do another 20.
Run or skip for another three minutes to keep your heart rate elevated
Exercise 2: Push Ups
Find a clear open space that can accommodate the length of your body and get started! Push ups are great for your entire body, especially your core and your upper body. As women have weaker upper bodies relative to their lower body, push ups can help make you stronger, look better and feel more confident. For beginners, try 10 push ups from your knees, pause for one minute, then do 10 more. For an intermediate level, try alternating push ups from your knees with push ups from your toes, doing as many as possible. For a more challenging exercise, try doing 15 push ups with your hands on the ground and your feet elevated on a curb or bench.
Run or do jumping jacks for another three minutes
Exercise 3: Lateral Jumps
Find a curb or log on the ground to jump over. If you’re near a playground, a teeter-totter also makes a handy prop. Stand to one side of the object and jump over it from side to side, landing in a bent-knee squat. These jumps are also great for toning your hips and butt. Perform 20 to 30 jumps from side to side. Rest for one minutes, then do it again.
One last round of cardio for another three minutes. Try picking up the pace for the last 20 to 30 seconds of each minute to really push yourself past your comfort level
Get down on the ground and plant your forearms, with your elbows lined up under your chest. Then tighten your core and lift your body into a plank position, with your hips elevated off the ground and your back straight. Try to hold this plank position for 30 seconds, working your way up to 60 seconds. Take a one-minute break and then repeat.
Start running again for one to three minutes, and walk it out for the last two minutes. Congratulations, you’ve just completed your outdoor boot camp! Repeat this stellar workout three times a week, increasing the duration of each exercise by one repetition every week. In four weeks, you’ll be ready to unveil a new workout outfit!