Outdoor workouts to get your booty in shape / By Chrissie Jarrell & Natalie Yerkovich

Spring is in the air and to celebrate the “green issue” of Austin Woman, we decided to step outside the gym and into the grass for great workouts that allow you to enjoy the amazing weather, beautiful scenery and change of pace from your typical routine. Here are a few activities we’re excited about this spring:

OUTDOOR BOOT CAMPS

Photo credit: Camp Gladiator

One of the most popular ways to get fit outdoors is through strength-training boot camps. Boot camps are typically a mix of strength training and cardio, giving you an efficient and well-rounded workout. They tend to be high-intensity, but can be easily scaled to any level. Workouts are about an hour long, led by an instructor and you’ll be sweating it out with a group of five to 20 other boot campers. You can find outdoor boot camps taking place throughout town at almost every time of day, making it a convenient way to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

You’ll love outdoor boot camps if…

  • You like the idea of enjoying the sunshine and amazing Austin springtime weather while getting fit.
  • You love exercising outdoors, but want instruction and structure to get the most out of your workout.
  • You want schedule and location options. There are literally hundreds of class times offered during the week at parks throughout town.

Outdoor boot camps may not be for you if…

  • You don’t like to get dirty during your workouts. Most classes are in parks, meaning you’ll be getting sweaty and rolling around in the grass.
  • You don’t like the fact that Austin weather in the springtime can be unpredictable. You never know if class will be in the cold or rain. Likewise, if you’re the type to skip class because of less than ideal weather, the consistency of indoor workouts may be best for you.

Here are a few to try:
Austin Adventure Boot Camp
Camp Gladiator
COREFit
Heat Boot Camp
Relentless Training Systems Boot Camp

OUTDOOR YOGA

Photo credit: Yoga Yoga

Swap the studio for the park from April through November with Yoga in the Park, presented by Yoga Yoga (yogayoga.com) in partnership with the Austin Parks Foundation (austinparks.org) and Save Our Springs Alliance (sosalliance.org). Yoga classes are free, led by certified Yoga Yoga instructors and appropriate for all levels. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your own mat and water.

You’ll love outdoor yoga if…

  • You enjoy hearing birds chirping and wind blowing through the trees during your yoga practice.
  • You like to challenge yourself to focus despite new noises (like traffic, kids playing, dogs barking) and outdoor elements (like an uneven mat surface).

Outdoor yoga may not be for you if…

  • You don’t want to get your yoga mat dirty.
  • You need a consistent environment to focus. The outdoors can be unpredictable: Leaves can fall on you, there could be twigs under your mat and there isn’t any air conditioning.

Yoga in the Park Schedule (Check yogayoga.com for updates)

APRIL: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the park at City Hall Plaza
MAY: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at Republic Square Park
JUNE: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Barton Springs
SEPTEMBER: Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at Republic Square Park

Photo credit: Women on the Trails Program by Trailhead Running

TRAIL RUNNING

Mix up your usual road-running routes and treadmill jogs with trails and challenging terrain. Trail running gives runners a nice change of scenery and a softer surface to lighten your impact load. Plus, there are so many beautiful trails throughout Central Texas that are perfect for running.

You’ll love trail running if…
You are looking for a more challenging run. Trail running requires you to pay close attention to your footing and make side-to-side movements in addition to forward motion.
You like the idea of ditching the pavement for a more forgiving surface. Natural trail surfaces are softer than pavement, putting less impact on your joints.

Trail running may not be for you if…

  • You like the smooth, uniform surfaces so you can zone out during your run.
  • You need to run at specific paces. Trail running often forces you to slow down a little to be able to safely navigate terrain. It is less reliable when it comes to pacing than a flat, smooth running surface.
  • You like for your running shoes to stay clean.

Trail running groups to try:
Women on the Trails Program by Trailhead Running
Rogue Running
Hill Country Trail Runners

However you chose to be fit this spring, we hope you enjoy the parks and outdoor spaces you already know about and discover a few more to love.

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Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich, the gals who created myfitlist.com, do the grunt work for you. Well, the organizational grunt work, anyway. They work hard to connect people with the fitness groups, information and resources they need so they can grunt, sweat and tone to achieve their personal goals.

Read the fun and inspirational fitness articles by the creators of MyFitList, every month in Austin Woman Magazine. This article can be found in the April 2012 issue on stands and online now!

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MyFitList brings together the latest information on hundreds of local fitness businesses in Austin. We’re your resource for inspiration and information for getting and staying fit. Search hundreds of Austin fitness groups and services like running, triathlon, bootcamps, yoga studios, gyms and more all in one place! Check us out at www.myfitlist.com