How To Put Fun Back in Your Run

By Nicole Glor

The first time you run through a new park you can get lost in scenery. By the 50th time you jog the same course, though, your formerly fun run can feel beyond boring. If your mind and body crave a change of pace and your running routine is starting to feel monotonous, make the park your personal training playground with this revved-up running route using outdoor space as an obstacle-course.

Warm Up. Start with a brisk walk to the entrance of your neighborhood park or running trail.

Get 6-Pack Abs. Find a playground and lay down on the top of the slide with your feet below your head. Hold on to the sides at shoulder level. Keep legs straight and lift them to the sky to tone the lower abs. You can even lift your hips off the slide at the top of the move and push your feet into the clouds. Aim for 20.

Run for 5 minutes.

Tone Your Legs. It’s “time to step up” the effort. Place your right foot onto a bench and, using your leg muscles, lift your body up off the ground. As the right leg straightens, bend the left knee and lift it forward to hip level to engage the abs. Step down with the left foot and then with both feet on the ground to finish one rep. Do at least 10 before switching sides.

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Run for 5 minutes.

Bring Sexy Back…Literally. If there’s another playground, do chin-ups with your palms facing you, on the monkey bars. If not, run back to the first playground you used.

Sprint to a bench.

Chisel Your Chest. With your hands on the bench, bust out 20 good push-ups. If you’re advanced and don’t mind a little dirt, take it to the ground instead. Otherwise, use the seat or the back of the bench, depending on your level of strength.

Run for 5 minutes.

Get Great Glutes. Jumping lunges strengthen your legs and reduce “jogging jiggle” while boosting your booty. Start with right foot forward, knee over ankle and feet about the-length-of-your-leg distance apart. Jump to switch legs scissor style. Try to do 20 on each side.

Check out these running tips for beginners!

Run for 5 minutes. If you’ve been running in a straight line, now’s the time to turn around.

Tone Your Triceps. The next time you see a bench, place your hands and knuckles forward, at the edge of the seat. Straighten your legs so you balance on your heals, and lift your backside off the bench. Lower your hips down toward the ground until your elbows point directly behind you at a 90-degree bend. (Trainer tip: the slower you go the harder they will be.)

Run for 5 minutes.

Unleash a Strong Upper Back. Find a place to lie down on your stomach. (You’ll be showering soon anyway, so don’t worry about getting a little dirty.) Place your arms extended to the sides, forming the letter “T.” Lift the shoulders, hands, elbows, knees and feet off the ground, focusing on squeezing the shoulder blades together, and strengthening your lower back. You’ll also feel your glutes and hamstrings work. Keep looking at the ground to keep the neck in line with the spine. Lift and lower 20 times.

Remember, it’s bad to get lost in the park, but good to get lost in your workout!

An entire workout you can do on the playground!

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