Got a tree? Then you’ve got a workout! Kick off those long weekend cottage (or backyard) mornings with this quick no-equipment cottage workout to energize you for a day of play…or a day on the dock taking “hot dogs or legs” photos. Your call.
Rest & relaxation is great. I mean, really great. I mean, I really, really need some rest & relaxation this weekend. But laying on your butt for a few days makes next week’s workouts SO much more intimidating.
And if you’ve got more than a few days off, you could be looking at some de-conditioning. Maybe a pound or two gained. Maybe a bit of cardiovascular capacity lost. Maybe just a bit of a “fluffy” feeling. After all, hot dogs & hard cider don’t tend to do much in the “nutrients” department.
Prevent post-cottage shell shock.
Hydrate. Not JUST beer. Also water. And lots of it. Have a bottle (again, water, not beer…) or glass going all day. If it’s sunny & hot, you’ll need even more. If you’re drinking alcohol, you’ll need even more. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need even more. Basically, stick a straw in the lake.
Move daily. We’ve got a fun, easy cottage workout below to share with your partner or girlfriends, or even to do with older kids! But a simple walk, game of catch, or jaunt in the kayak will also do a body good. Keep the muscles moving doing fun things that feel like a “vacation” but let you move your muscles. It’s easy to stiffen up if all you do is “recreate” (i.e., lie on a deck chair) all day.
Prep some fruit & veg. At the beginning of your weekend or week off, dice a million (literally, a million) veggies & fruits you and your family love. Have some dip, some hummus…whatever makes the veggies go down. Then, when you wander into the kitchen looking for a snack or need a quick side-dish, you’re more likely to grab nutrient-rich, hydrating fruits & veggies which will help to counteract the damage of sun + alcohol + junk foods.
Go to bed. A late night campfire is a Canadian long weekend tradition. For most nights, try to let your body match the rhythm of the sun when you’re camping or cottaging. It’s a rare treat to go to bed early for most mamas, especially with the soothing sounds of toads, waves on the lake, rain in the trees, and loons (by which we mean your ridiculous cottage neighbours or the emblematic bird…however you interpret). Rising with the sun and going to bed soon after it gets dark will help reset your hormones & allow you to feel rested and recharged when you return to regular city life, Netflix in bed, and alarm clocks.
Now, get sweaty & feel great.
Complete forty seconds of each exercise, resting twenty seconds after each before moving onto the next. If you can’t do forty seconds straight of an exercise, rest for a quick two seconds when needed and jump right back in to finish the forty seconds strong; you’ll build up your endurance the more you do this!
Rest sixty seconds and drink some water at the end of all five exercises, then complete a second set. Got more time? Go for a third set to really give it your all. Remember to follow it up with a stretch!
Tree Sit (Legs, Core)
Begin with your back against the tree, and walk feet out as you slide down into a squat. Aim to get thighs parallel to ground. Contract your core so you feel your back against the tree, keeping shoulders back. Hold forty seconds; rest twenty seconds.
Tree Bridge (Butt, Core, Legs)
Begin laying on your back, bum close to the tree. Walk feet up tree and press into heels as you squeeze your bum and lift off of the ground. Keep upper back on ground and try not to arch your low back excessively; focus on your bum and legs. Lower and repeat for forty seconds in a controlled fashion; rest twenty seconds.
Pregnant mamas can simply do a bridge on the ground or with feet on a small step.
Crab Triceps Dip (Upper Body, Core)
Begin on hands and feet, inverted with chest up, fingers pointing to feet. Pull your shoulderblades toward your spine and keep your chest lifted. Bend your elbows to lower your bum toward the ground, then press up and back so shoulders align over wrists, squeezing the triceps (back of the arm). Lower again and repeat for forty seconds; rest twenty seconds.
High Knees On Tree (Cardio, Legs, Core)
Begin with hands on tree, about shoulder-height. Lean slightly forward and contract your core as you begin running knees up toward chest as quickly as possible. Press hands into tree & keep eyes lifted. Continue for forty seconds; rest twenty seconds.
Pregnant mamas & those in immediate postpartum, march with high knees while engaging the core inward on each step.
Side Plank & Shoulder Pulse (Upper Body, Core)
Begin lying on one side, with elbow drawn in close to you. Press up into a side plank from elbow to feet (or from elbow and knees for beginners/pregnant mamas), keeping bottom hip lifted and chest and eyes up. Extend top arm upward & pulse back, squeezing shoulderblades toward spine. Continue pulsing for twenty seconds, then switch sides and repeat; rest twenty seconds.