With more and more focus on body, mind, and soul, more people are focusing on the “experience” of working out and not just the workout itself. Creating environments that make you feel happy and stress-free is important for your peace of mind and if you are happier and feel more at peace, then you are much more likely to stay motivated to continue to workout.
Where is your happy place? For some, it may be a martial arts school where you have a strong social network. For others, it may be a luxurious, state of the art yoga studio, and for others, it may be getting outside with nature.
Get Outside with Nature
Getting outside with nature is my happy place and now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining it is a perfect way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, too! Because there is usually less equipment outside as opposed to a gym or fitness center, most outdoor workouts are focused on working with your body weight. I have spent a lot of time getting creative and designing bodyweight workouts that are really challenging and focus on perfect form with focused attention to really work the muscles when heavy weights aren’t available—it’s just a matter of being creative. Outdoor workouts also allow you to focus on building muscular endurance, power, cardiovascular fitness, and stability because there are endless ways that you can move your body. Changing up the speed, number of reps, order of exercises, and rest periods all contribute to having an awesome, challenging, and inventive workout while being outside and connecting with nature.
Sophia’s Killer Outdoor Workout
I want to share with you a type of workout that I do when I am outside. These workouts challenge all aspects of fitness and burn up loads of energy to help you stay lean. The idea is to perform this workout in a circuit format going from one exercise to the next to the next with no rest so that your heart rate is elevated the whole time. This challenges your cardiovascular system and helps to build muscular endurance. The fast pace jog or sprint at the start helps to build power and kicks off the pace for your body to work hard in the anaerobic phase before the aerobic phase kicks in. Working this way in both energy systems is taxing on your body and consequently burns loads of calories, not just during the workout, but afterward.
These types of killer workouts only take about 20 mins and will give you a plethora of many more fitness benefits than any slow boring jog or static bicep curls would. Just remember to exercise with mindfulness and focused attention, perform each exercise at a moderate pace, and limit the rest periods to reap the full benefits.
- 2 minute fast paced walk, jog, or sprint (depending on your level).
- Keep your weight through the heel of your step-up leg.
- Keep your chest up.
- Squeeze your glute when you are performing the step up.
- Lower yourself down slowly.
Aim to do 20 each leg.
2. Push-Ups on a Bench
- Maintain a straight shape from your head to your toes.
- Draw your belly button into your spine to contract your core.
- Lower yourself to the bench so your chest touches and push back up.
Aim to do 20 reps.
3. Mountain Climbers
- Start by placing your hands on the floor.
- Bring one foot in closer to your chest.
- Replace with the other foot.
- Keep switching feet while maintaining a static posture in the upper body.
Aim to do 20 reps each leg (40 total).
4. Cycle Sit Ups
- Start by sitting on the floor with your back off the floor.
- Prop hands up behind your head and keep elbows back. Be mindful not to crank on your neck.
- Bring opposite knee to elbow together.
- Then switch to bring other knee and other elbow together.
- Do this while always keeping both feet off the floor.
- Maintain this posture with your back off the floor and your abs activated while you keep switching legs and elbows.
Aim to do 20 reps each leg (40 total).
5. Plank Hold with Toe Taps
- Maintain a straight shape from head to toe and draw your belly button into your spine
- just like in the push-up.
- Bring your leg out and tap the toe.
- Alternate sides while maintaining square hips and shoulders (no tilting).
Aim for 10 toe taps each side.
Perform each exercise back to back with little or no rest. After completing one circuit, do rest for 2 minutes and then repeat the whole circuit 2 or 3 more times through, depending on your fitness level. Enjoy!