Turning this public park staple into a personal gym.

Turns out you don't need a gym membership or Tae Bo videos or even the outdoor exercise equipment many parks feature in order to stay fit. All you need to stay healthy, according to personal trainer Nancy Bruning, is a standard park bench.

Bruning has created a series of exercises and stretches people can perform easily with only a park bench. She's compile 101 different bench-based exercises, which her website calls a "practical fitness system and philosophy that takes you outdoors and restores a feeling of play and naturalness to your workouts."

Essentially, Bruning's taken "Sit and Be Fit" off public television and placed it into the public park.

She's dubbed her system "Nancercize," and it's basically a mix of stretching, yoga poses and a few dance-like moves that use the bench as a balancing or leverage point. Exercises include a deep squat stretch, a reclined bicycle pedaling motion, and even a karate-like "sky kick." Not your typical park bench activities and kinda dorky, but probably pretty good for you.

This introductory video shows a few of the moves you can do.

[A full 14:00 video featuring all 101 exercises is also available.]

Bruning argues that physical fitness doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. She's hoping people will start to reconsider the park bench and the free space of public parks as opportunities for better health. "The outdoor world," her site claims, "is our natural health club."

Image credit: /YouTube

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. MapLab

    Introducing MapLab

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  4. A row of tractor trailers lined up at a truck stop.
    Transportation

    The Truckers Who Are Taking on Human Trafficking

    In Arkansas, the “knights of the road” are being trained to combat truck-stop prostitution.

  5. A collage of postcards and palms trees of the Florida shore
    Environment

    The Archaeologists Saving Miami's History From the Sea

    As the water level rises, more than 16,000 historic sites across Florida are at risk of being drowned by waves. In Miami-Dade County, researchers are working to keep history on solid ground.