Looking for a New Way to Exercise Outside?

Lois Moncel, Director of Fitness and Wellness

Are you struggling with finding ways to exercise while not using the gym? You have probably been walking and bike riding which is great … but you may have neglected the weight training portion of the workout, am I right? Try adding these exercises that can be done on your morning walk or bike ride. These exercises can help you burn more calories and tone your core, arms and legs. Every time you come to a park bench, stop and go through the following exercises. Do each exercise for 1 minute for a total of 5 minutes and then start your walk or ride again.

Tricep dips help you to tone the backs of your arms.

* Sit on the bench, and place your hands on the edge of the seat. Keep your legs at a 90-degree angle with your knees bent.

* Bend your elbows backward, and lower your butt toward the ground. When your elbows form a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement and return to start, stopping just shy of locking out your elbows. (To make it easier, shorten your range of motion.)

Modified push-up help to work the biceps and chest!

* Stand a couple feet behind the bench, lean your body forward, and place your hands on the back of the bench.

* Use your core muscles to keep your body aligned from head to toe. Let your arms flare out to the side while lowering your chest toward the bench, until your arms reach a 90-degree angle. Push back up to your starting position. Do 10-15 reps, take a break and then start again ‘til you reach 1 minute, (about 3 sets).

Lunges really help to tone your lower body!

* Stand with your side to the back of the bench and have one leg in front of the other. Be sure to have a good amount of space between your front and back leg. You can hold on with one hand to stabilize yourself. Slowly bend your forward leg into a lunge so your leg is at a 90-degree angle (make sure you don’t go further; you don’t want your knee to move past your toes). Be sure that the back heel comes off the ground while lunging. Do 10-15 reps on each leg.

Toe Taps add a little more cardio and toning for the lower body!

* Stand facing the bench, place one toe on the edge of the seat, and then quickly switch from right foot to left foot. Keep your arms close by your side and try to lift your knees up high while keeping your core pulled in. The faster you go, the more calories you burn.

Sit to Stand exercises strengthen your lower body and helps you squat up and down much easier!

* Start by sitting on the edge of a park bench, your feet planted on the ground about hip-distance apart. Your torso should be straight, but slightly forward-leaning, your arms slightly extended in front of your chest with your elbows bent.

* Press through your heels and extend your knees and hips and push yourself to standing, swinging your arms backward. If you need a little help then use your hands to push yourself upward.

* Reverse the movement and carefully lower yourself back to a seated position, swinging your arms forward as you sit. Sit down and start again. You could also tap your butt against the bench before you press yourself back to standing again.

Be sure to finish your walk or ride with some good stretching moves! During this pandemic shut down, get creative with your workout. Give yourself a daily reminder … Move it or lose it!