Posted on August 29, 2017 by Kim Mead

Summer is about to end, which means that whilst we still have beautiful, warmer mornings and fairly nice evenings to go outside and exercise, such as parks and fields, we should look to advantage of what the great outdoor space has to offer.

We have 2 simple options – either we take our own fitness equipment outdoors, such as resistance bands, mats, swiss balls, kettlebells and skipping ropes, or we can use the traditional outdoor fitness apparatus some parks now have in place. Training outdoors provides the best opportunity to change up your own routine.

Why exercise outside when we have great indoor gyms?

First of all changing your training environment is beneficial for your motivation to maintain your exercise regime.

Of course, there are other benefits of outdoor training, but the main ones for most people is the fresher air quality, an increased level of oxygen utilisation. Furthermore, this increased availability of oxygen to the working muscles leads to better workout efficiency and energy expenditure and ultimately more calories burnt.

But what are our options when considering outdoor fitness apparatus?

Most of us have access to the equipment we need to exercise – our own bodies and the outdoors. But we often talk about cardiovascular exercise using static bicycles, a treadmill, or about strength training routines using the leg press for the lower body, and the bench press for upper body training.

One of the best methods of training outside is to perform a circuit style session in order to improve cardiovascular fitness and to enhance muscle endurance.

To help you get an idea of what you could do using the park equipment and your own body, check out our sample circuits below.

All the three circuits should be completed in one session, and the only rest is the transition between exercises/apparatus. The circuit session is repeated three times with a rest of 60 seconds in between. (30 seconds for those that like a challenge).

Be sure to complete the warm up round and cool down stretches too!

Good luck and keep motive8-ing others too!

Warm up:

30 sec. -knee circles
30 sec.- arm swings (in front)
60 sec.- jog in place
60 sec.- jumping jacks
60 sec.- inchworm
60 sec.- squat-side kicks (30 sec. for each leg)

Circuit 1:

Time Park Based Equipment Bodyweight Alternative Bodyweight Alternative Option 2
20 reps Leg Press Bodyweight Squat
15 to 20 reps Seated Chest Press Press Up High Plank
30 seconds Elbow Plank High Plank
60 seconds Elliptical Trainer Run Brisk Walk/March

Circuit 2:

Time Park Based Equipment Bodyweight Alternative Bodyweight Alternative Option 2
15 to 20 reps Seated Lat Pull Down Pull Ups
15 to 20 reps Step Up on Bench High Knees On the Spot Single Step Up on Bench
10 reps Hanging Leg Raise Reverse Crunch Crunches
60 seconds Cycling Run Brisk Walk/March

Circuit 3:

Time Park Based Equipment Bodyweight Alternative Bodyweight Alternative Option 2
60 secs High Knees Sprint
60 secs Elliptical Trainer Run Brisk Walk/March
60 secs Elbow Plank High Plank V- Sit
60 secs Cycling Run Walking Lunges

Cool down:

10 min. – stretching of key muscle groups

Daniela Mohor, London Dock Gym and Spa Operative.