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All you need is an incline

September 10th, 2012 1 Comment

Every time I come to LA, I hit up my old stomping ground Runyon Canyon for a workout.  The dusty trail is honestly anything but glamorous, but don’t tell the celebs that.

For those of us who don’t live in LA and have PERFECT weather 90% of the year, we can finally start to enjoy the outdoors as the temperature chills out. Why wouldn’t you take your workout with you?  I also do it just to change things up when I get bored of my regular routine.

What I’ve found is all you really need is an incline of some sort.  Whether it’s your driveway (Susan and Libby, that would be you), a quiet street, the bleachers at the local high school or college, or a trail in the park, find a place you can walk, jog, and run up inclines.  You really only need ONE because you can go to the bottom and start again.  That’s what I do in Houston because it’s so flat.  Recall I even used this trick on vacation!

The incline is important because it will help to quickly raise your heart rate even if you’re just walking.

You can take some weights or even grab rocks along the way to work your upper body (see my video of exercises here).  Benches are another useful tool for upper body exercises.

My objective on Runyon is to keep my heart rate in Zone 3 to burn fat, add some sprints up the incline to spike my heart rate, then use my rocks to tone my arms while my heart rate comes back down.  Light jogs on the flat roads and walking up the inclines keep my heart rate elevated and stable, as well as my mind in the zone (too many arm exercises while walking make me just want to head home). With the exception of the lack of heavy weights, it’s kind of like a BLAST900 class.  However, in this outdoor scenario, even in the heat, it takes me an hour and twenty minutes to burn 500 calories.

The key here is knowing your heart rate and zones.  If you can’t tell from my posts in the last 6 months, using a heart rate monitor has given me a new perspective on exercise and has allowed me to work smarter not harder.

** Many thanks to new LaLa land resident Kate for snapping the photos!  Don’t forget to check out my local hangouts here.

 

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