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>Making the Most of your Walk

Category : Healthy Eating

>Walking is a great form of exercise, but how can you make it even better? Add strength training using park benches and playground equipment.

Bench Squats
Stand in front of a bench facing away from it. Begin to sit down, but do not actually transfer your weight to the seat. Stand up again. Repeat this move for 30 seconds. Change speed to add variety.

Bench Step-ups
Stand in front of a bench facing it. Place one foot on the seat of the bench (safety tip: knee should be lower than your hip). Use that leg to lift you up onto the bench and then slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat 8 or more times on each leg. If the seat of a bench is too high try a curb or a low step on the playground equipment.

Bench Push ups
Push ups are great for your arms, chest and core. Yes, push-ups strengthen your core because you have to hold your body in a straight plank from your head to your heels. Easiest push-up: hands on the back of the bench. Harder push-ups: hands on the seat of the bench.

Push-ups are easier if your hands are higher, so find something the right height for you!

Bench Dips
Great for your triceps (the back of your arms). Sit on edge of bench , place hands on bench close to your hips; feet firmly planted on the ground. Now lift yourself off the bench by straightening your arms and slowly bend your elbows to lower your butt beyond the edge of bench. Do not allow shoulders to go lower than elbows. Straighten elbows to lift yourself back up, but try NOT to sit on the bench. Lower yourself down again. Try to repeat 10 times…this one is tough, just do what you can!

Dips are easier with knees bent…

Dips are harder with legs straight…

Monkey Bar Pull-ups
Pull ups are very advanced…see how many you can do, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do them. Instead, modify the pull-up so that you CAN do several in a row. One way to do this is to find a bar that is about shoulder height. Hang from the low bar with your feet on the ground, knees bent and try to do a pull up with a minimal amount of assistance from your legs. Another way to do these is to hang from a bar facing the sky with your arms straight, hands directly above your shoulders. Your body should be in a plank position (straight from head to heels) with your heels on the ground. Now, pull yourself toward the bar bringing your chest to it. Eventually you may build enough strength to do real pull ups!