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A Workout Under The Open Sky

For those who want to get in shape, but who find exercise routines dull, CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay has a way to spice up daily workouts as part of her monthlong series, The Great American Weight Loss.

Although exercise is essential to basic health, nearly 250,000 people a year in the United States die because they don't participate in a regular exercise routine. There are several reasons why people can't, but one of the most popular excuses can be turned into a motivator.

Excuse of the Day: Exercise is boring.

Fitness expert Angela Settle says that those who find treadmills and gyms unbearable should take their workout outside.

"I do this with with many of my clients," Settle says. "They go outside and train in the park."


The Great American Weight Loss Tip of the Day is: Take your exercise outside and make it fun.

In between power walking, Settle suggests doing the following simple exercises:

  • Step climbing. Find a stairway and climb the steps a couple of times. This exercise is good for the legs, the back, and is a good cardiovascular workout.

    Using a lamppost for tubing stretches.

  • Elastic tubing. These elastic cords can be wrapped around anything sturdy, such as a lamppost, a tree, a fence or bench. As you hold onto the handles, pull toward you for an exercise that is good for the shoulder muscles and the posture.

    Dr. Senay demonstrates bench pushups.

  • Bench pushups. Facing a park bench, place your hands on the top of the backrest. Allowing your elbows to bend, lean toward the seat of the bench. This exercise strengthens the legs, arms, back, and also tones the thighs.
Any combination of these exercises will make for a varied and exciting exercising routine in a lively outdoor setting.

As always, Dr. Senay recommends that you check with your doctor before starting any significant exercise program. Your physician may want to limit or help you tailor your workouts to fit your needs.

Reported by Dr. Emily Senay