GET A FULL-BODY WORKOUT AT THE “NATURAL FITNESS AREAS” IN OUR LOCAL PARKS

Tired of being an inside girl—or boy? Summer ’16 sent many of us indoors for more comfortable air-conditioned workouts, but fall has taken flight, and it’s time to head outdoors. John Gillingham, outdoor fitness coordinator for Colorado Athletic Club (CAC) in DTC, tells us how to get more than just a walk in the park.

“CAC clubs have excellent facilities, but my advice to members is when the weather is nice, step outside,” says Gillingham. “Walk with friends, and stop and do lunges or squats, or stop at a bench for triceps dips and push-ups.” Gillingham suggests frequenting one of the natural fitness areas at local parks like George Wallace Park in Greenwood Village, Washington Park in Denver, or Red Rocks.

For the past 15 years, Gillingham has been teaching outdoor fitness classes at George Wallace Park, with its 12 newly installed fitness stations and half-mile of steady hills for cardio training. And the 88-year-old Gillingham was instrumental in creating the Wash Park fitness course in 1974, with step-up logs and pull-up bars that are still in place and in use today. Whether the goal is general fitness or sport-specific training like hiking or road and mountain biking, “my whole emphasis is to get people off their backsides,” says Gillingham.

To learn more about outdoor fitness classes at CAC, go to Wellbridge.com/Colorado-Athletic-Club.

A PLAN OF ATTACK:

Training for General and Sport-Specific Fitness

GENERAL HEALTH & FITNESS

  • /// Get a check-up from your doctor first!
  • /// Start easy and slowly increase your intensity.
  • /// Think squats and lunges for lower body and resistance bands for upper.

HIKING

  • /// Cardio workout is best. Walk, jog or run based on your fitness level and goals.
  • /// Do push-ups for upper body.
  • /// Do slow squats and lunges for lower body.

ROAD & MOUNTAIN BIKING

  • /// Similar to hiking but more about endurance. Longer cardio training times.
  • /// Get your heart rate up. Huffing + puffing = good.
  • /// Increase your intensity for more resistance. Strenuous is vital.

Gillingham’s advice: 
“Be consistent once you start to train. Work on cardio, as this improves 
both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.”