It may be getting cooler, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on open-air workouts. Yoga in the park? Check. Bench-pressing at the playground? Got that one, too. You urban-dwellers aren't off the hook: We even have tips for power walking in the city streets.
Proper posture can help you walk faster and burn more calories while reducing your risk of injury. When you stand tall, your muscles move through a greater range of motion for a more powerful stride. Whatever your time (or commitment level), we've got a "walkout" for you.
As anyone who has ever watched an infomercial knows, when it comes to equipment that promises to jack up your exercise routine, options abound. But in terms of both utility and ubiquity, the bench may stand far above the rest. An ideal platform for strength moves, the no-frills workhorse also makes a remarkably good stand-in when it comes to cardio. This bench-based routine takes advantage of body weight to both elevate heart rate and provide a total-body workout. Try the 20-minute series of exercises a few times a week to get your body into starting shape.
This most basic form of outdoor recreation is equal parts workout and therapy, and good for all ages: It boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and clears the head. What the gym and its calibrated machinery can't promise -- inspiring views and unpredictable physical challenges -- hiking has in spades. Get the family started with this guide.
Spend some time at your neighborhood playground and you'll get a good idea of how children -- and the adults they become -- approach exercise. Some kids spin in circles until they collapse, others bet on who can sail the highest on the swing set, and one or two are content to simply sit in the sandbox and watch it all. Take a cue from children and wear yourself out outdoors with these dosha-specific fitness recommendations.
You already have all the complex, high-tech machinery you need to get into shape: your two legs. Walking works the major muscle groups of the body, raises your heart rate, burns calories, and lowers your blood pressure with a third of the impact running has on your joints. Here's a progressive walking plan that'll get you on your feet and out the door.
Just as you wouldn't begin weight lifting by bench-pressing 100 pounds, you don't hit the ground running at warp speed. You have to go farther before you go faster -- which is why you should build a strong foundation. The following plan, from coach Christine Hinton, will help you improve your speed and overall fitness -- not to mention torch calories.