Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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What in tarnation is a Fitness Court?

Fitness Court in action!

Fitness Court in action!

Well, if you Google “fitness court” you’ll see that a fitness court is simply a place set aside specifically to work your body out. Could even be a basketball court by another name. In this case I’m referring to the Nation Fitness Campaigns’ Fitness Courts.

I bring this up because a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a nice fellow named Alex with the NFC (National Fitness Campaign). Alex emailed to let me know about the new Fitness Court his organization is putting in on the Marina Green and invited me to Treasure Island for a sneak peek.  A chance to have my way with the court before it launches. After reading about the NFC and seeing photos of the court I figured I’d be a fool not to check it out.

So, on Saturday right after our Stair Climbing Workout, I gassed up the car and headed for Treasure Island…

When I walked into the massive airplane hangar that temporarily houses the Fitness Court I had flash backs of walking into a school dance without a date.  Panic set in as I shyly strolled in and realized I didn’t know any of the 30 beautiful people rhythmically jumping, lunging and bounding around the court. There was a cameraman and orchestrated workout session with music going on. It looked to me like serious business and that everyone knew exactly what they were doing. As I stood on the sidelines in awe, a tall, fit Alex magically appeared and began to explain the court. As I stood there wondering if I had the nerve to jump up and have a pass around, another really nice, fit looking fellow asked me if I’d like to have a go. Again, I flashed back to school dances, it was kinda like being asked to dance by a stranger. Finally I managed to gather the words “yeeea, okay, thanks” and off I went for my romp around the Fitness Court with my partner giving me detailed FC 101.

Here’s what I learned; The Fitness Court is a free outdoor body weight training system designed with adults of all fitness levels in mind. The court features seven exercise stations: Core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend. These 7 stations are meant to build strength, balance and flexibility. The idea is that you go through the entire court a number of times, with one minute at each station recommended. After a full circuit, rest for 3 minutes and then around again and again if you like.

On this day I managed just 2 circuits but only because they were starting to do a serious photo shoot and I figured I’d stay out of that business.  I do wish I’d had longer to play around on my own. I was so busy trying to do the right thing at the right time, and follow the circuit that I didn’t have time to think about all the different exercises one can actually perform at each station.

So… with that, I highly recommend that each and every one of you make the effort to go check out the Fitness Court once it’s planted on The Marina Green. I’m not certain how long it will be there but I do know that this is a trial and if it’s a hit it may get to say and we may get to see more of them pop up in other parts of the city and the country for the matter.  If you are worried about knowing what to do once you get to the FC, don’t be. There are directions and there will be trainers there to help you during peak hours. Or, you can go with me. If you’re a current client, be sure we’ll be visiting the court as soon as it sprouts at the end of this month.

Lastly, I’d like to say THANK YOU to: Alex for finding me and inviting me to check out the FC! To my workout partner whose name has escaped me (I’m really sorry about that because you were very nice to take me around. I’m just super bad with names!) To Chelsea for chatting me up, and to the National Fitness Campaign for doing what they do and for bringing this super cool contraption to my hood. I hope to see you all again soon…

P.s. The National Fitness Campaign is an organization works to build fit communities by providing public outdoor fitness courts in schools and parks across the country.

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Making muscle

Doin' Dips

As I mentioned the other day, a pound of muscle takes up more room in the body than a pound of fat. Muscle also burns calories to maintain itself while fat just sits weighing you down.

When I encourage you to gain muscle, I’m not suggesting that you bulk up and enter a bodybuilding contest. I am simply suggesting that you take the muscles that you have and feed them (pump them up) a little bit. When you do this you will not get bigger, you will become toned and smaller as the increased muscle will burn the excess fat.

Think about this, after the age of 40 our bodies start to lose muscle.  As you lose muscle, your strength decreases, increasing your risks of injury from muscle weakness, poor balance and fatigue. Not to mention weight gain. Need I say more?

With that, below is a very basic workout you can do anywhere, all you need is your body. Give it a try.

  • Warm up with a 10 – 15 minute walk or jog. Swing your arms around, across your body and around and around like you’re swimming.
  • 10 Push ups (on your knees, against the wall or boy style, whatever you can manage but is still hard!)
  • 20 – 30 (each leg) Walking Lunges
  • 20 – 30 (each leg) Standing Straight Leg Kickbacks
  • 20 – 30 Tricep Dips
  • 20 – 30 Calf Raises
  • Plank – Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Now repeat the sequence two times for a total of three sets.

Add this basic circuit to your weekly fitness routine. Do it three times per week if you can manage.

Remember, this is just a sampling of things you can do. If you want to come up with your own routine be sure to work everything; chest, back, quads, shoulders, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, calves and abs. You know where to find me if you need help.

P.s. Always suck your navel toward your spine while performing every exercise. Inhale during the easy part of the movement, exhaling during the more difficult half.  Do not hold your breath when performing any exercise.

P.s.s. The basic rule of strength training is: to get stronger, work with heavy weights and perform fewer repetitions. To promote tone and endurance, use lighter weights and complete more repetitions. For the purpose of this post I’m suggesting that you start with building endurance and adding tone (light weight, lots of reps).