Outdoor Bench Exercise Helps You Build Healthy Habits

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Fall is the perfect season to fall in love with fitness. The crisp, fresh air, warm sun and captivating colors of the leaves create an attractive environment for exercise enthusiasts. Outdoor fitness is associated with a host of health benefits, like lower stress levels and better cognitive function. Exercising outdoors also saves you a trip to the gym. This accessibility increases the likelihood that you’ll actually finish your workout and shave hours off your busy week.

Fall is a particularly good time to establish an exercise routine before the winter holidays. By finding fun ways to exercise now, you’re much more likely to build momentum, stay motivated, and stick to your healthy habits through the hectic holidays when winter weight gain seems inevitable.

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to refresh your fitness routine this fall, consider something as simple as trying out some other exercise equipment. Unlike gym workouts that require massive machines or heavy weights, this outdoor workout only uses something practical, versatile, and basic: a park bench.

Perform the following bench workout two to three times in a row, three times a week. Make sure your bench is well constructed, on solid ground, can support your weight, and is not rusty, as this could weaken its structure. Every other day, walk 30 to 45 minutes at a brisk pace.

  • Place your hands firmly on the bench and step your feet back until you’re in a plank position.

  • Keep your core engaged as you lower your chest to the bench for a push-up.

  • Once you have completed your push-up, lift and rotate the right arm until your body is in a side plank pose. Hold the position for two beats then lower the arm down.

  • Come down for another push-up and repeat on the opposite arm.

  • Continue this back and forth rotation for 20 total counts (10 on each side).

  • With your back facing the bench, take a big step forward.

  • Step your right foot behind you and place it toes down on the bench.

  • Keep your body weight in your left heel and slowly lower until your left knee is at a 90 degree angle. Hold for two counts then push through the front heel to return to the starting position.

  • Repeat 12 to 15 times, then switch legs.

  • Sit on the bench with your hands at your sides, palms down. Slide your butt off the bench and spread your legs until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Your palms and heels support your weight.

  • Slowly raise your left arm and your right leg in front of you. Try to hold your balance for five seconds, then alternate right arm and left leg.

  • Continue alternating this sequence for 20 reps (10 on each side).

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