Hawk Hike: no gym, outdoor workout

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April 8, 2015

By Alena Purpero

As we slowly, but, surely proceed into warm weather, the temperature will go up and our attention span goes down. I, for one, can feel my inner antsy 8-year-old self that just wants to get outside when I have to stay inside and do homework. Even if I’m working out and being active, the idea of choosing the fluorescent indoor lighting, customized temperature and grey walls over sunshine, the exciting fluctuation of temperature with every breeze, and the constant change of scenery is not a decision I can rationalize.

Whenever I verbalize this to anyone I usually get the same response: “Well go outside and run, ya dingus.” Which is my cue to say “Oh, but I don’t like running, I wish I did.” Yes everyone, I am that person. I love exercising, and thankfully it entails more than just running, because I’ve never been one to do it. When it comes to cardio, you’ll find me on the elliptical, lap pool or group fitness class.

So for those of you who want to be active outside, but want to do more than just a consistent run, I have a solution for the both of us. The answer to our problems is the Hawk Hike, a custom-made hike that a friend of mine and I created. Don’t let the name fool you, it is not a breezy walk through campus but instead sprints, stairs, lunges and more are incorporated to it. If you want a set agenda and route that’s conveniently on campus, then say no more and follow these steps in doing the Hawk Hike workout:

→ The Hawk Hike is going to start out in the Pavilion located behind the Wells Towers, by the entrance to the nature preserve. There is plenty of vacant space to stretch on the grass. Take about five minutes or so to do some stretches.

→ Once you’re done stretching, it’s time to head across the street to the nature preserve for your warm up. You are going to use half of the bridge to do a set of lunges, high knees and butt kicks to mid-way through the bridge and back. Make sure you do your lunges slow enough to get the most out of this warm up and to maintain proper form (keep your chin perpendicular to the ground and don’t let your knee exceed your toes). High knees and butt kicks are pretty self-explanatory, just be sure that you get your knees up there every time you run even when you get tired.

→ Now, you are going to lightly jog across the whole bridge and to the hill where you are going to do calf-ups as you progress up it. With every step you are going to do two calf-ups, so don’t rush this part. Make sure they are slow and effective.

→ On top of the hill is a lookout with a bench for patrons to enjoy the scenery. We are going to use this part for a quick core session. Do bicycle crunches for one minute, since the ground is wood it may not be the coziest thing on your back. Therefore, we’ll be gracious enough to treat you to a one-minute plank to give your back a break. Lastly, stand up and do bow extensions. Draw your elbows and knee to your chest in one motion, do two sets of 10 on each side.

→ Next you are going to make your way to the steep, infamous stairs next to Hyer Hall. During this trek from the Nature Preserve all the way to the other side of campus, you are going to do intervals of jogging and power walking. Once you reach the hill behind Hyland, you will sprint up it and then make your way through the path that brings you to the top of the Hyer Hall stairs with a light jog.

Take a moment to get some water after your jog and then go up and down the stairs twice. Every time you reach a plateau in the stairs, sprint it through. After you have gone up and down the stairs twice, your workout is essentially done.

You have gone 2.9 miles at this point, of which you can almost double up with your cool down.

If you would like to end up where you started, then lightly jog or walk back to the picnic area at the pavilion,  and you can end your workout with some more stretches.

Whether you choose to do the Hawk Hike or it has inspired you to construct your own outdoor workout, I hope this has helped you find a fun and rewarding alternative to staying inside to workout.

Even if you don’t live on campus and are trying to improvise for going to the gym, you can do this similar workout around your neighborhood or by a park.

Get creative, get active, soak up the sun and have fun!