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The battle to keep your pre-wedding workouts fresh and exciting can be grueling. And now that balmy spring days are a regular occurrence, you might be more inclined to hit up an outdoor happy hour than head to the gym.
Fight fitness class fatigue by getting your partner involved and repeating these words: The couple that exercises together, stays together — and there's no better place to take your workout than the great outdoors. Here's how to make the most of your time spent sweating in the sun.
Location, Location, Location
"Find a suitable outdoor environment that will stimulate your senses and your workout productivity," says Davey Fisher, a fitness instructor at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu. Live near mountains or the beach? Hit them up regularly. Not only will their natural beauty keep you motivated but they'll serve as the perfect backdrop for filter-free selfies.
Be a Cardio Queen (and King)
Training for a marathon with your guy? Keep it up. Otherwise, focus part of your workout on high intensity interval training, which will help both of you burn more calories in a shorter period of time. "Short duration running, or sprinting with moderate walking rest breaks, can be very productive at boosting calorie burn and your overall metabolism," says Fisher. Bonus benefit: Fisher is convinced that the endorphins released during cardio help people share their feelings more easily (so now might be the perfect time to explain why Aunt Edna does not get to sing "Memories" at the reception). Add in short bursts of plyometric exercises — like lateral hops over a step from side to side or high knee lifts — to blast even more calories during your workout.
No weights, no problem. Using your own bodyweight as resistance can be just as effective (or more) as those three pounders from Pure Barre. Fisher suggests alternating sets of push ups, tricep dips, planks, squats, lunges, and burpees. (Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps each, pausing for 15 seconds after completing the full rotation.) "Alternating between upper and lower body exercises will allow your workout to be more productive by maximizing the use of different movements and muscle groups," he explains. And don't forget to push each other. Fisher swears that "bragging rights" can be the best motivation to keep moving.
You did it! But before throwing in the towel, spend a few minutes on assisted stretches to keep yourself injury-free. Fisher keeps the hamstrings and calves limber by following this simple routine: "Allow your partner to lie flat on their back, lift their leg straight up and push lightly towards their chest as the leg approaches a 90 degree bend. Then have them fully bend the knee and push that knee toward the shoulder on that respective side while the other leg is kept straight. Push until you feel tension or until your partner feels a fairly significant stretch." To work on the upper body, sit cross-legged and have your partner kneel behind you. Interlace your fingers behind your head and lean back into your partner while he gently pulls back your elbows. Hold each position for 30 seconds and then switch.
Commitment is everything, right? For the days when you just don't feel up for the challenge, repeat Fisher's mantra: "Better sore than sorry."