Outdoor Exercise Gyms

Headlines, like GREEN MACHINES, on the health and fitness page in the September issue of Chatelaine Magazine, piqued my interest. It talked about a fitness gym set- up outdoors. Hmm. I took a look at the website, www.greengym.ca, to find a gym in the greater Vancouver area. Nothing. The pictures interested me and that got me thinking about exercising outdoors.

Start here:

Look for outdoor fitness circuits in a city park. They usually have all kinds of organic wood based equipment, like pull up bars, flat pieces of wood for stepping up and down, as well as parallel bars. Or, you can develop your own outdoor gym experience by combining cardio drills with calisthenics (exercises that use your own body weight). If you don’t see yourself doing any exercises using what’s available outside, bring some tubing for your resistance training and combine short cardio intervals, using different speeds or a few hills.

Checklist… nice and short

• Layered clothing works best. Good for when you start to heat up and conversely when you start to cool down. Either invest in outdoor wear or start the layer with something made out of cotton

• Light fitness equipment (tubing, BOSU), phone, ear buds, water, towel. Perhaps a snack…

Motivation Corner… Go for it!

• Start your exercise resolutions for the New Year early

• Set-up a competition with a friend

• Include some partner, non-competitive, training exercises

• View the routines as active fun rather than exercise

• Think outside of the exercise-in-the-gym box

• Add this type of activity to your list of things to keep you healthy and active year round