COVID-19 has been a difficult time for many of us mentally, physically, emotionally as well as financially. But it also came with its benefits for many who chose to take advantage of more time and energy to exercise and find a healthy new routine.
But after 4 months of running and cycling people are starting to get a little bored. Variety is the spice of life so try to mix up your workouts a bit more and think outside the box.
Summer is finally here and we have so much around us that we can take advantage of to help us stay fit and healthy and keep our fitness moving forwards.
HIIT the park bench
There are so many great moves you can do with just a bench that you should stay entertained for hours. Think: step ups, dips, press ups, planks, jumps.
Try this short but effective park bench workout to target the whole body. Set a timer and do as many round of these moves as you can in 15min:
15 x step ups each leg
15 x press ups (Advanced - feet on bench)
15 x running mountain climbers (hands on bench)
15 x Dips
Outdoor gyms and parks are now open so take advantage of it and use the monkey bars to build some upper body strength. If you are new to monkey bars and cant do any pull ups yet then hanging from a bar is amazingly beneficial.
Just hanging from the bar might sound easy but it can be pretty tough if you haven’t spent much time on a bar before. The hang will help to stretch out muscles in the back and shoulders but most importantly it also helps to develop strength in the upper body which will over time help you to do a pull up or complete the monkey bars.
Power up your running with hill sprints
If you have enjoyed running during lock down and started to feel the benefits and results but are feeling like you are not getting any fitter or faster then hill sprints are a great next step.
If you have ever seen or tried hill sprints before they are not nice - they really work you hard and you will feel the burn on each repetition. But the best part is - that they are over relatively quickly!
Hill sprints can help you improve your strength, speed and overall fitness as well as help keep you injury free.
Try this beginner hill sprint workout:
Jog for 10 minutes to warm up.
From the bottom of a gentle incline, run up for 15 seconds, then walk back down the hill to the start point.
Run up again for 20 seconds, then walk down.
Run for 25 seconds, walk down.
Finally run for 30 seconds and walk down again.
If you feel ok and want to do more then repeat the sequence another 1-2 times. As you get fitter find a steeper hill, run faster or increase the time of the first sprint by 5 seconds.
Hike yourself healthy
During lock down we have all found some incredible walks and hiking routes around our homes and nearby countryside that in many cases we never knew were there.
We have some incredible countryside and views all over the UK and as we are not likely to travel so much this summer choosing instead to have a 'staycation' and explore amazing hiking locations right here in the UK.
Hiking has many huge benefits but one big one is that its free for you and the whole family. Being outside and walking in the hills, fresh air and in nature has amazing benefits on stress, mental health and just generally improving your mood.
Hiking is a great tool for managing weight as well as helping to keep control of blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Founder of TONIQ
What's your favourite outdoor workout? Let us know in the comments below. Share this with someone who you know would benefit from reading this. The U Perform family loves sharing ideas and encouraging each other.