The gym isn't the only place for a great workout!

With the time change also comes the season change. Days are longer! The sun has come out to play! In addition to all of this awesomeness, maybe you want to take your workout outdoors too. Or maybe you were outside playing all day and didn't get time to hit the gym. How about some simple moves you can do at home, outside, or wherever you are. Using your environment to its highest potential is a key ingredient to the meal that is your workout.

Let's begin in your home. Be sure to warm-up first. Some jumping jacks, jogging in place, high knees, dancing, or just a nice stroll around your house/block is perfect. Next, do some stretching, be sure to hit all the major muscles. Your legs & arms (bottom to top, front to back), your back, and your neck. Some excellent starter exercises include: squats, push-ups, lunges, tricep dips, crunches, and superheros. Here's where things get fun. If you want to amp up your workout, use household apparatuses. Your couch and a staircase are two of the most helpful tools in your house. The couch is a great tool for your tricep dips. Extend your legs straight out and lower your body until your arms from right angles then extend your arms and push yourself back up. Use the couch to get your squats perfect. Pretend to sit down, then right before your bootie hits the seat, stand back up. Keep in mind, your knees should NEVER move past your toes, nor should they lock when you stand back up. Also, keep your chest up with your shoulders over your hips. For some serious push-ups, put your feet up on the couch and your hands on the floor. This is going to add more resistance as your weight is now centered on your top. Your stairs can come in handy with your squats also. By placing one foot on the bottom step. Now perform your squats as usual. This puts more of your weight on the leg not on the step. This makes it work harder, making it stronger. Be sure to repeat on the other leg to keep yourself balanced. You can do the same thing with your lunges. Place your back toe on the step and perform your lunge. The same rules apply here as with your squat. Keep your front knee in line with your ankle, not over your toes. When you do a lunge, your front and back leg should make right angles.. Keep your chest up here too, and your abs tight so your shoulders stay over your hips. Crunches can be done on the floor, and superheros too (lie on your stomach with arms extended overhead & legs straight out. Squeeze your bootie & back until your legs and arms pull off the floor.)

When the weather is nice, there's no place I'd rather be that outdoors. Its always good to enjoy the sunshine! Begin the same way as at home with a warm-up and stretching. The greatest part of outdoors is more room. Use the great outdoors to do some walking lunges, side step squats, pull-ups, and hanging leg raises. Keep in mind the rules about lunges and squats. Keep those knees in line with your ankles, and DON'T let them go over your toes. Keep your chest up. Time to head to the park. I know how much fun the playground is and how much you miss it. Now I'm giving you an excuse to use it! Monkey bars are awesome for pull-ups and chin-ups. You can also use them for some hanging leg raises. Start with bringing your knees up to your chest. Then work your way up to keeping legs straight and lifting them. Benches can be used for tricep dips and push-ups. You can also let the kids help you get a workout in. By playing with them you can get your cardio in for the day.

These exercises should be done only if you are able. If you can't do something, DON'T! Simplify the exercise to a doable one for yourself. If you need to use your knees instead of your toes for push-ups, do it. If all you are able to do is walk, do just that. Go for a nice long stroll to burn calories and clear your mind. From there you can always build yourself up to more challenging exercises. Another good idea is to create a circuit with various exercises and perform multiple circuits. This is a great way to build endurance. For more information, contact the Wayne County YMCA at (570) 253-2083 or online at