Switching it up by getting your regular exercise outdoors can increase the benefits exponentially. A simple and effective way to accomplish this is an outdoor circuit. Building a routine to enjoy in your neighborhood park isn’t as complicated as you might think. Complete the 5 steps below to design your own full-body circuit and see for yourself.
- Select Your Warm Up Options
Your warm up is intended to prepare the ligaments, joints and muscles for the work they will do. 5 minutes of most cardiovascular exercise will usually warm you up, but more important than time is reaching the desired benefits of a warm up. A slight perspiration on your forehead or under your arm, breathing out of your mouth instead of your nose are usually good signs that you are warmed up. Select a combination of the options below and work until you recognize the desired benefits.
|Inch worms x30 sec.||Sun salutations x30 sec.|
|Jumping jacks x30 sec.||Plank 30 sec.|
|High knee running x 30 sec.||Frisbee toss (partners) about 5 min.|
|Jump rope x 30 sec.||Football toss(partners) about 5 min.|
2. Plan the Workout
Your work-to-rest ratio determines the number of seconds you will exercise (work) and then recover (rest). A work-to-rest ratio of 20/40 is recommended for beginner exercisers, while 30/30 or 40/20 is recommended for intermediate to advanced exercisers. Select a work-to-rest ratio that is appropriate for your current activity level. Then select 1 exercise from each group for a total of 5 exercises.
|Group 1||Incline Push ups||Push ups||Decline Push ups (feet up)|
|Group 2||Bicep curls with Res. Band||Mid-Back Pull with Res. Band||Row with Res. Band|
|Group 3||Squats||Squat Jumps||Squat Jump & Calf Raise|
|Group 4||Traveling Lunges||Reverse Lunges||Split Squat|
|Group 5||Bird Dog||Russian Twist||Plank Variation|
|1.||Push ups||20 sec work / 40 sec rest|
|2.||Bicep curls with Res. Band||20 sec work / 40 sec rest|
|3.||Squats||20 sec work / 40 sec rest|
|4.||Split Squat||20 sec work / 40 sec rest|
|5.||Russian Twists||20 sec work / 40 sec rest|
|*Repeat 3 Times|
Note: Hydrate before, during and after this routine. Also, you will need a towel or mat and a handled resistance band for this routin
3. Execute the Workout
To complete one round of your circuit, execute each exercise for your selected work-to-rest ratio. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds with 1 minute of rest in between. If intensity is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, you should be working at a 6 to an 8. Check in on your intensity level periodically and challenge yourself. At the same time – listen to your body. When needed, take a few breaths as a rest and then jump back in.
4. Cool Down
First, take a moment to recognize the hard work you just did. Now take one of the most important steps toward proper recovery and reaping all the benefits of your routine – let’s stretch. Complete a full-body stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
|1.||Triceps Stretch x30 sec.|
|2.||Bicep and Chest Stretch x30 sec.|
|3.||Forward Fold x30 sec.|
|4.||Quad Stretch x30 sec.|
|5.||Core Stretch x30 sec.|
5. Adjust, Repeat, Be Well
Each body is different and can respond differently to the same exercise. This is why it is important to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you and adjust a routine accordingly. Easy adjustments include increasing or decreasing your work-to-rest ratio and intensity. Once you’ve mastered these movements, add resistance using hand weights, or kettle bells to increase the challenge and benefit.
To make this a regular routine, repeat your circuit 3 times a week with a day of rest in between each work day. Example: Monday=Work, Tuesday=Rest, Wednesday=Work, Thursday=Rest, Friday=Work, Saturday=Rest. Keep adjusting the routine for progress and variety. Be sure to reach out to your Certified Fitness Professional for questions and best practices. Enjoy and be well.