by Brian Duewel
The other day, I was picking up my youngest son from his summer camp. When I walked in, all the kids were spinning around with hula hoops burning a little energy before the parents showed up.
It got me thinking back to the fitness boot camp I used to offer. Every Saturday morning, a group of clients would meet me at a park and we’d sweat for about an hour. It wasn’t just adults; I had parents with children and kids-only classes too. But what all the classes had in common was that we worked hard, had fun and burned a lot of calories.
That brings me back to the hula hoops at the summer camp. My son Tyler and his buddies were vigorously exercising, without even knowing it. That’s why the hula hoop was a staple at my camps.
I once wrote about how to build a home gym with inexpensive, household equipment; now I’m going to tell you how to organize your own boot camp for almost nothing.
To start, pick up a hula hoop at any dollar store. Just the act of doing the hula will burn calories and work your core. But the fun doesn’t stop there. What I would do at the boot camps is roll the hoops out and make everyone chase after them. The sprinting and diving is great for cardiovascular fitness and agility.
Next, find an open field, whip out a few tennis balls and have everyone sprint to find them. With a group of people, you can throw a bunch of balls and whoever brings back the most wins the reward of an extra break.
If you’re near an actual playground, take full advantage of the monkey bars and other equipment. With my crew, we would do step-ups on the park benches, jog up and down the stairs and do triceps dips off the picnic table.
A simple little jump rope can go a long way to raise the heart rate – it’s actually a lot tougher than most adults remember. And obviously, ordinary calisthenics like running, pushups, crunches, jumping jacks and mountain climbers are free fitness tools you can add to your exercise repertoire.
The last great thing about my location was that there was a hill that would make everyone’s calves, quads and lungs burn. At the end of the hour, we’d run to the top and finish class with a “Rocky” dance. That’s an entire boot camp class for around $10.
Brian Duewel is a syndicated fitness columnist. If you have questions, comments, recipes or information you’d like to pass on, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org; check out his blog at healthylivingwithbrianduewel.com
note – It’s a great time to start a bootcamp if you’ve been considering it. There’s tons of info on my site here at Fitness Workout Ideas, just use the search box at the top and type in bootcamp or visit my website at http://www.howtostartabootcamp.com