The No Excuses In Your Backyard Workout

By: Danielle Press


    The peak of summer may be over but we still have time to enjoy that magic time  of year when the days are still longer, the sun is still warmer, and nothing beats a day spent outside.  Calendars fill up quickly during these brief summer months.  Many people vacation, take long weekend getaways, have family reunions, and cheers to endless reasons for celebrations.  With all of these occasions it could be hard to pry yourself away for a workout.   For even the most dedicated, a holiday workout can seem daunting, if not simply undesirable.


Why lift a dumbbell when you could be lifting a glass of wine?  Why get in an afternoon session while the rest of the house takes an afternoon nap?  You do it because it feels good.  You do it because you know the negatives associated with exercise are just misconceptions, that a shift in perspective could make all the difference. Exercise is time away, an hour where your mind can wander or sit perfectly still, a time when you can focus on yourself, how your body feels, and how it responds to challenge.  Exercise levels indulgence, leaving both the body and the mind feeling nourished and taken care of.  Workouts can be done virtually anywhere and with virtually anything. You are your own motivation.  You are your own trainer.


    When you reflect on yourself what do you see?  When I reflect on myself I see that after a day or two of indulgence my body is craving something green, fresh, and healthy.  I feel the need to do something with my body, to move it, push it, and challenge it.  I also realize that my mood starts to shift after a few days off routine. Most importantly, I realize that only I can make myself feel better.  



Now, its time to change perspective. Rather than focus on the negatives, realize and believe all of the positives that will come out of it.  Rather than make excuses, make transformations.  Rather than dread the demand you put on your body, thrive off of it.   


1- You don’t need to find a gym.  


The outdoors is your gym.  Take advantage of these stunning summer days.  Whether you get in an early workout in the cool morning hours of the day or a session in the calming lights of dusk, you are guaranteed to feel motivated by your surroundings.  Use the energy surrounding you to push harder, go farther, or endure longer.


2-  You don’t need equipment.  


Use the elements around you as equipment.  Tree stumps work wonderfully as box jumps or benches.  Sand and water act as great resistance components.  Drift wood found on a beach can also double as a barbell.  Rocks act as free weights or dumbbells, added to any routine to strengthen and challenge.  Go outside and look at your surroundings.  Everything you need is right there.


3-  You don’t need a lot of time.  


You don’t need to spend hours of your day working out.  Harder and shorter workouts have been proven to yield an increase in fat loss and muscle growth.  You can set aside as little as 20 minutes of your day to your own personal wellbeing.  This allows you to make the most of your time with family or friends.


4-  You don’t need to do it everyday.  


Let’s face it- you are on vacation.  You want to rest, recover, sleep, and play as you please.  So set a goal for yourself.  If you are gone for a week on vacation, try to work out 2-4 days.  Any activity you do will be better than none.  You are already ahead of the game.  Most don't bother doing anything, simply writing off their vacation as a loss. You can turn it into a gain!  


5- Look at it as time for yourself.  


We all need a little solo time.  Whether this time is used to reflect or stay quiet, your mind will be at ease.  You will have only one focus, and that is the task at hand.  One more rep.  One more jump.  One more round.  This time is yours.  Use it to stay quiet, listen to the natural sounds that surround you, and let everything else fade away.


6- Look at it as something FUN!  

Step away from the preconceived notions that workouts are a chore.  Start looking it as something enjoyable.  During the warm summer months take a break from the gym and play outside.  Get dirty, play with rocks, move amongst the trees and act freely.  The biggest hurdle most people face is the mental attitude we have associated with exercise.  Time and time again I have heard people say they loathe going to the gym, only to find that once they are done they feel amazing.  Instead of loathing it from the beginning, focus on the positives.  Channel your inner child and have fun with your movements.  Dance, box, or take a barr class.  Find what you enjoy doing, and it will never be a chore.  


If you find yourself in a cabin or a cottage, camping, or just taking a hike, try this intense Tree Stump Workout guaranteed to leave you breathless and invigorated.  Completing the circuit once is a good workout, twice is a great workout, and three times will kick your ass!  





Equipment Needed:    1-2 Logs

            Resistance Band

            Mat or Towel



Run (100-200m)

15 incline Push-Ups

20 Step-ups with Knee up

15 Dips with Toe Touch

25 Abs



15 Decline Push-Ups

20 Box Jumps

15 Single Leg Lunge on both legs

25 Abs



15 Wide Incline Push-Ups

20 Tree Stump Burpees with a Box Jump

15 Log Bridges

25 Abs



15 Tree Assisted Bicep Curls (Resistance Band)

20 Tree Assisted Chest Press’ (Resistance Band)

20 Punches with Resistance Band

25 Abs