Thursday, July 28, 2016

Heritage Park Circuit #3

This is the third outdoor circuit featuring the outdoor fitness equipment at Heritage Park! This particular circuit is a little more difficult than the last two, so don’t be afraid to push yourself! This could be a true test of how much stronger you have become! Since this circuit may prove to be more difficult, modifications will be noted along with pictures. 

Warm-up: Walk/jog the 1.5-mile loop

Step-ups or box jumps
            Step-ups - start by stepping up onto the box of appropriate height and difficulty level. When stepping up drive the opposite knee upward; alternate stepping up with your right and left foot and driving your knee upward toward your chest.

            Box jumps – to get the most out of box jumps, form is everything. Make sure you are not positioned too far away from the landing surface of the box. This is important because you want to jump UP and not OUT. Making this mistake could lead to injury. When ready bend your knees and swing arms backward to create a countermovement to increase momentum when jumping upward. Your goal is to land softly, step back down, and repeat.

            If you struggle with upper body strength try an “assisted” version of a pull-up. Jump upward grabbing the bar to pull yourself up, but instead of lowering yourself down and fighting gravity to pull yourself back up, just lower yourself using the muscles in your shoulders and back to resist gravity. Let go, then repeat.

Assisted Push-ups


           Bicycle Toe-taps
             Place your hands overhead on the bar and start with legs lifted. Be sure to keep your back flat on the bench. Lower each leg one at a time and tap the toe of your shoe to the ground. If you feel your back arching as you drop your foot to the ground, don't drop your foot so low.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

5 Health Benefits of Playing Outside

     Remember when most kids didn't have to be convinced or bribed to play outside? When we become so-called adults, we wish we could turn the clock back and enjoy being a kid again. Especially when it comes to playing outside. These days tablets and phones are practically superglued to the hands of everyone, whenever all you need is the great outdoors. There are infinitely many possibilities of games and activities that can be played outside as a child. Even if your kids don't have a neighborhood posse (like in the Sandlot), there are still plenty of activities to be played outside.
So why should your kids play outside? There are actually proven health benefits of playing outside that can effect the health and wellness of children at a young age. 
  • Improves Vision - children who play outside have better distance vision than those that primarily stay indoors

  • Promotes Social Skills - unstructured play promotes a wide range of skills; it's not just about running and staying active, but learning social skills, executive functions, and behavioral skills through play

  • Increases Attention Span - outdoor settings appear to reduce ADHD symptoms in children; exposure to natural settings through after school play and weekend activities can be effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms

  • Reduces Stress - spending time outside playing is relaxing and healing; studies show it reduces stress level in kids

  • Provides Natural Source of Vitamin D - playing outside provides natural exposure to vitamin D which is an essential nutrient needed for normal bodily function
    Just playing outside around 60 minutes a day can increase health benefits, and build a foundation that leads to a healthier future. Lifelong habits are formed at a young age. Typically, active kids are active adults. Help your children discover the world around them. Get out and play! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Heritage Park Outdoor Circuit Workout #2

The second circuit for our Heritage Park fitness equipment is here! Modify these exercises to meet your specific needs. If you wish to mix these exercises in with those that were featured in our first     post feel free to do so! 

Warm-up: walk 1.5-mile loop or do Cardio Stepper for 5-10 minutes

Assisted Row
W: 2 sets/ 10 reps
M: 2 sets/ 15 reps

Squat Press
W: 2 sets/10 reps
M: 2 sets/ 15 reps

Reverse Crunches/Leg Raises
W: 2 sets/ 25 reps
M: 2 sets/ 25 reps

Cool down: walk 1.5-mile loop

*Take a 60-90 second break between repetitions or walk to each different station as a “break”

**Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine. Read safety warnings and directions before using new equipment