I’ve learned a lot over the years in my own exploration of exercise, as well as my time spent training a diverse amount of clientele and one thing is for certain, if something is boring and redundant people will drop like flies from their workout routines. Winter in Alaska limits the amount of physical activity one can get, especially outside, so summer is prime time to get outdoors and get creative!

Hiking, biking, skateboarding, walking, running- can all be done outside in the fresh air. Not only that, but you can check out the many parks, schools, and trails that offer a beautiful scenic backdrop to your workouts. I encourage all of my clients, especially during our outdoor boot camps, to start viewing the world in a different way. Turn an ordinary park bench into a triceps dip bench, or a place to challenge yourself stepping up and down to give your lower body a great workout. Hit up the monkey bars at a park, and practice your pull ups or just hang for a nice upper body challenge. The ideas are endless- just watch your kids when you take them to the park, they don’t need to read an article in Muscle & Fitness magazine to know how to exercise AND have fun, it’s all about the mindset!

When I visited Thailand over a year ago, there were several things that caught my attention right away- mainly the emphasis put on physical activity all over the country. I stuck mainly to Bangkok and went as far south as bordering Malaysia and Myanmar during some parts of the trip, but everywhere there were small outdoor parks that encouraged ADULTS to exercise. There were outdoor “gyms” all over Lumpini park in Bangkok, that cost something like $1 USD to use for the day.

An outdoor "gym" in Bangkok, Thailand's Lumpini park


I saw a Thai man one afternoon, who looked to be in his 70’s hanging upside down from a set of monkey bars doing crunches. It was impressive! Large groups of aerobics classes took place in the center of town, traffic whizzing by on either side. People move their bodies in Thailand and in doing so, set great examples to one another.

I realized that is what’s missing in America. Ordinary people should inspire each other, not ridiculous celebrities and their magic diets and false hopes. Weight loss companies prey on the naivete of desperate American’s claiming to be more depressed, overweight and strapped than ever before. The cure for this might be something as simple as going outside for a walk, inspiring others and possibly hanging upside down on a set of monkey bars to work your abs.