Written by Meghan Burrows, BSc., PTS, RTS • Photos by Paul Buceta
When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the line “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall,” he probably wasn’t talking about fitness. But the truth is, this phrase can absolutely apply to your workouts. While for some, the end of summer signifies that it’s time to move their outdoor exercise into the gym, it should be a time for fitness enthusiasts to enjoy cooler temperatures (that are safer to train in), change up their old workouts, and give themselves the extra energy to push through shortening daylight hours. Here is a compilation of the best outdoor workouts, each of which can be completed in 35 minutes or less:
Bodyweight exercises are often neglected because they are deemed “beginner” exercises. However, performed at the correct intensity, this type of training can burn fat, increase overall strength and build a solid core. Bodyweight exercises cost nothing, can be done anywhere, and have more variations of exercises than any weight training program. Try this bodyweight circuit to hit every muscle in just 35 minutes.
How to: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. After going through each exercise once, repeat the circuit, increasing the work time on each exercise to 40 seconds. Add on 10 seconds of time for each round until you reach 25 minutes. Spend 5 minutes warming up and 5 minutes cooling down for a total of 35 minutes, keeping your heart rate in the fat burning zone long after your workout is over.
2. Alligator Push-ups
3. Pike Push-Ups
4. Sprinter Sit-Ups (From a lying down position, explosively contract the abdominal muscles and draw the right elbow to the left knee. Lower with control and repeat with the left elbow and right knee.)
When it comes to portable fitness equipment, kettlebells are a must-have. Add some heavy swings and snatches to your routine and you’ll soon find out why they’ve become one of the most popular functional tools in fitness today. This kettlebell circuit is designed for conditioning and fat loss, so pay attention to your rest periods with a stopwatch or timer. Kettlebell size should be selected based on your skill level in order to avoid injury. For this specific workout, here are some suggested weight ranges: Beginner (26-35lbs), Intermediate (26-44lbs) and Advanced (44-53lbs).
How to: Perform 5 explosive repetitions of each exercise. Rest for 1 minute after the first round.
Take 5 seconds off of your rest period after each round. Complete 10 rounds of these exercises.
2. Clean and Press*
3. Single Leg Deadlift*
*Perform the prescribed amount of reps on each leg or arm
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Stairs are the ultimate conditioning equipment. Why spend time indoors on the death– oops, we mean stepmill, when you can have more fun outside? Using stairs is a great way to increase joint stability and flexibility through the knees and ankles, while getting your heart rate going. This is a full body training circuit that is designed to push your limits and test your endurance.
Designed for a flight of stairs 15-30 steps in length.
1. Decline Pushups – 5x 8-12 reps
Perform push-ups with your feet on the first or second step, hands on the ground.
2. Calf Raises – 1x 45 reps
Starting on the bottom step, begin with 10 raises. Immediately step up one step and increase by 5 reps to 15 calf raises. Continue to add 5 reps until you reach 45 calf raises continuously.
a) Run up and down the flight 4x, walk for 30 seconds
b) Squat jump up the stairs, jog down 4x, walk for 30 seconds
c) Lateral side jog up the stairs, then jog down, alternating sides x4, walk for 30 seconds
4. Step Up to Sprint 3x 15 step-ups per leg + 1 sprint
Standing laterally to the steps, place one foot on the second step and the other foot on the base of the steps. Push from the toe and draw the knee towards the chest. Repeat for all reps. Switch sides and repeat on the opposite leg. Then sprint to the top of the steps and jog back down.
Listen to the breeze. Smell the leaves. Feel the solid earth beneath your toes. Outdoor yoga is a powerful tool to connect your mind, body and spirit. Connecting our senses to the elements through nature-based postures can help decrease stress and reduce risk for the dreaded winter ailments. When you are in each posture, try to imagine your body as the element in nature. Bring your own breath into your surroundings and breathe your surroundings in. Equilibrium, flexibility and enhanced cognition are all benefits of this yoga sequence.
How to: Cycle through the following 4 poses, holding each pose for 10 breaths, coming back to your center after each pose. Repeat the sequence 4 times through and end with a 4 minute Savasana in nature’s perfect yoga studio.
1. Tree Pose
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose
3. Bow Pose
4. Fish Pose