Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to mean gym memberships and personal trainers or fancy home gyms. What it does require is a little imagination. If you open your eyes to the world around you, you’ll see myriad opportunities to take advantage of your surroundings. It might be the playground at your child’s school, the park down the end of your street or the stairs to your apartment block. Or – as was the case during my trip home over Christmas – it could be the boat ramp and rowing club in town.
I come from a town on the north coast of NSW called Grafton. It was an amazing place to grow up; we kicked the footy on the riverbank, were always involved in a team sport or two, played with other kids in the street and just generally got outside and amongst it. It’s a sentiment I’ve tried to bring to my training as an adult, and one of the main reasons I chose to run my group training sessions outdoors… after all, why would you work out indoors if the opportunity is there to make the most of fresh air, grass and sunshine? There’s so much to do and see, and so much fun to be had in your own backyard! Play your cards right and it won’t even feel like a workout (I can almost guarantee it).
Which brings me back to the workout I put together just after Christmas. I’d been home a few days at the time, so I’d done a couple of long runs and gym sessions, and I needed something to keep my brain engaged so I wouldn’t think about being bored, or fatigued, or some awful combination of the two. I find intervals are a great way to work out when I’m feeling like this – the speed work gives me a focus, and the recovery time is so desperately needed that I’m too busy sucking in air to think about anything else. Not too far from my house is the local rowing club, and – if you look at it in the right light – it’s the perfect little fitness playground. It’s got a set of stairs, some short steep hills, large steps (perfect for step ups, box jumps etc), and a longer, steadier hill. Everything I need!
Here’s what I did with it…
- Warm up run to boat ramp (7-10mins)
- Hill sprints (moderate incline – 60m) x 8
- 10 box jumps + 2 stair sprints (doubles) x 8
- Hill sprints (extreme incline – 12-15m) x 8
- Cool down run home (7-10mins)
P.s If you like what you see, take a pic of the workout and keep it on your phone of next time you’re looking for inspiration!