Urban Bootcamp - Outdoor Exercise Ideas For A Fitter You

Discover how to stay fit by making the city your gym!

There’s no doubt that gyms are fantastic places to train and stay in shape. But if you’re
tired of working out indoors and wish to mix up your fitness program, why not engage in
urban boot camp training? You can join a group typically run by a trainer and held in a city
park or athletic field. Or you can hit the streets by yourself or with workout partners to
create your own program. Check out these ways to train and take advantage of the

Just run

Running is the simplest way to build and maintain cardiovascular fitness. You can do it
anywhere: city streets, parks and school tracks. All you need are a pair of supportive
running shoes. Keep in mind that while it is liberating and meditative to run by yourself,
remember to be safe. Let your family know where you’re going and take your mobile
phone. Wear high-visibility clothing so cars can see you. Stay clear of overly trafficked
roads to avoid exhaust fumes, and bypass unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Engage your body weight

You don’t need a weight set to build fitness and strength. Use your body weight in the form
of old-school calisthenics—like jumping jacks and push-ups. Multiple repetitions build
endurance and long and lean muscles. You can do them in any park, playground, school
field or on your city block.

For lower body:

  • Perform squats and lunges on the sidewalk or grass.
  • Plyometrics: With both feet jump onto low curbs and benches. At a school track, jump the bleacher stairs. This is fantastic cardio training and builds strength.
  • Wind sprints: In a park, sprint from tree to tree or sprint one block and walk the next. Alternate between blocks. This type of interval training efficiently gets the heart pumping so it doesn’t have to be done for very long.

For upper body:

  • Push-ups: Perform on a level grassy surface or lean against benches or low walls.
  • Tricep dips: Benches come in handy again or use the parallel bars in a playground.
  • Pull-ups: Grab the high bar or rings in a playground. Or if you’re already super strong, with two hands hold onto a tree branch and pull yourself up.
  • Abdominals: Put a towel or mat on the grass and do crunches. Lie on a bench, hold onto the sides and do leg raises.

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Incorporate simple equipment

If you’d like to get a little more sophisticated, develop a boot camp program with a few friends. Training with others is a lot more fun and motivating. Friends can egg you on when your fatigued muscles are burning and just the thought of doing 10 more push-ups seems impossible.

Get some mini traffic cones. Set them up for sprints. Work those shoulders and abs by throwing a few 10-pound sandbags. Place resistance bands or rubber tubing around poles or trees for strength training. This equipment is lightweight, inexpensive and can easily fit in a backpack. Make sure everyone brings enough water, a towel and a mat for final stretching and cool down. After all that hard work and spirited camaraderie, you’ll have to resist the temptation to indulge in a big breakfast or lunch!

Don’t let your environment limit your ability to stay healthy and fit. All you need is a little creativity, some motivational music and maybe a few friends. Now put on your workout gear and head out the front door.

Learn to keep up with your weight loss resolution with the help of these tips.

Read tips for your well being here.

Learn how to stay healthy with these tips.

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