Living in Southern California, I like to avoid the gym as much as possible and workout outside. I just got back from a whirlwind 10 day trip home for the holidays. My mom’s house is in Chicago, and my Dad is in Nashville—both of which were FREEZING COLD in comparison to LA!!! Going home is always nice, but it’s also exhausting, to say the least. I also just really miss my life and friends and the conveniences of living in LA when I’m gone. I landed this morning at 9 am (eearrrllyyy flight) and one of the first things I wanted to do was move my body outside. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time driving anywhere to hike or take yoga. I decided to do this run/HIIT combo because it’s super efficient and it doesn’t require me to get in my car.
Working out is SO much more enjoyable in nature—I swear to god it motivates me and makes the time pass. It also just feels way more natural to break a sweat outside instead of in an air-conditioned gym that smells like dirty socks. I don’t even have a gym membership because I used it so rarely. Between easy nearby hikes, lots of parks to run around in, and beautiful weather, there really was no need! I usually get my cardio in outside hiking or running, and then I also do some HIIT at the park or at home, and of course #YogaEveryDamnDay. A lot of people think that yoga doesn’t tone you or keep you in shape—but that’s really not the case! If you are challenging yourself with vinyasa and power classes and conditioning for arm balances, yoga is a killer workout! However, I think it’s great to supplement with cardio for heart health. The strength building that I do only requires your own body weight and a little creativity. All you need to do is find a stoop or a bench that’s about 2-3 feet off the groud. A park bench works perfectly.
I used to do this workout with my friend Sophie Jaffe allllll the time. She is the HIIT queen and seriously inspires me so much! We would use our neighbor’s stoop in front of their house (hopefully they didn’t mind/got a kick out of us going ham on our workout in their front yard). PS—doing this with a friend 1000% increases productivity. Workout buddies and motivation is a real thing, y’all.
A typical example would be:
Run/walk 1-2 miles (cardio)--I like to run a mile and then do the HIIT, and then walk the mile home. Running is not my strong suit so I run for as much of the mile consistently as I can!
When I find the bench I do:
-10 squat jumps onto the base of the bench or stoop (bending and straightening my knees between each hop up and down. Make sure to bend deeply and stick your butt out like you’re sitting down in a chair. The goal is to make your thighs parallel to the ground!).
-20 Tricep dips--bending the elbows to 90 degrees each dip! You can have your legs bent at 90 degrees, extended straight in front of you (as pictured below), or alternating one leg up.
-15 lunges (each side) with back leg up on the base of the bench
REPEAT THIS SEQUENCE 3 TIMES!!
Don't forget to stretch!