With many of us in yet another lockdown, and others on the brink, you might be wondering how you’re going to get through the long days and possibly weeks ahead. Fortunately, outdoor exercise is one thing we ARE allowed to do and the benefits are enormous. You’ll be amazed at how just 30 minutes of outdoor exercise can enliven your mind, body and spirit when you need it most, making it the perfect lunchbreak workout.
This workout will get your whole body moving. Let’s go!
Warmup: 5 minutes
Take a brisk walk to a set of stairs, hill, or ramp near your house.
If it’s raining, grab your raincoat or umbrella and head for a local covered roof, bus shelter, awning, or alcove. Alternatively, take a walk around your backyard, on your balcony or even around the living room… it’s better than nothing!
Puffing: 5 minutes
This is where the magic happens! You deserve some endorphins, especially if you’ve been inside for days on end… so get your magnificent heart pumping.
Walk, jog or run up and down your stairs, hill or ramp continuously for five minutes. It’s hard, but I believe in you! If you’re hating it, simply slow down.
Step ups: On a park bench, high gutter, edge of garden ledge or anything that’s around 30 – 50cm high, do ten step ups, going up, up, down, down, continuously leading with the right leg and then alternating on the left and so on.
Interval sprints: On soft sand, a bush trail, a backyard, a grassy verge or another flat-ish surface, fast walk or jog for 30 seconds, then walk 30 seconds. Repeat five times.
Squats: If you can’t find any of the above features, just do five minutes of continuous slow squats, lowering your hips to the height of a seat to make a right angle with your legs. There’s no need to go fast, just continue focusing on perfect posture.
Moving: 5 minutes
Take a brisk walk to an outdoor grassy area, such as a park, kids’ playground, or oval.
Lifting: 5 minutes
Here’s where your body weight comes in handy because it provides the resistance needed to build muscle strength and power. Do these five exercises with good posture and form for one minute each.
Pushups: Pushups can be done against a wall or on the side of a bench. (On for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds.)
Reverse crab crawl: For crab crawls, simply start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent up in front of you and your feet flat, hands beside your hips also flat. Push your hips up off the ground until you are in a tabletop position. Away you go, walking around like an upside-down crab for one minute. It’s harder than you think!
Alternative: if you don’t want to crab crawl, you can do tricep dips on a bench or seat.
Superman Lifts: Lie on your tummy on the ground with your arms stretched above your head (or to the side) like superman. Engage your core strongly, then lift your hands and feet off the ground as high as you can and lower, keeping your arms and legs straight. Continue for one minute.
Sit ups/crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Contract your abs to sit yourself up, bringing your chest towards your knees. Keep your abs on while you lower your torso back down to the ground. Continue for one minute.
Warm-down: 5 minutes
Retrace your steps and walk back home briskly trying to wipe the smile off your face as your mind, body and spirit glow with joy.
Play: 5 minutes
(Optional but recommended!)
This is where you tap into your inner child and really have fun! The possibilities are endless and will all depend on your creativity and sense of adventure.
Some ways we love to play:
- Create an obstacle course enroute and scramble over and around your environment.
- Climb a tree, fence, park bench, playground equipment and/or over yogi bear logs.
- Play chase, tip, leapfrog, or any other playground game you can remember.
- Do wheelbarrow or piggyback races in pairs. Don’t forget to keep your core on firmly to support your back and swap lifters after 2.5 minutes.
- When you get home, blast some pop hits and dance around the house.
- Run through the streets with your arms outstretched like you’re flying.
- Say ‘race ya!’ to your friend or partner and race them home.
Need more work-friendly tips? You’ll love 6 Quick Stretches You Can Do At Your Desk.