Nature Trail Workout

There are a couple nature parks near us, and as this month we are still experiencing non-fall-like weather, I decided to try our nature trail workout at another park today.  This park was about 20 minutes away at Cooper Mountain.  It wasn’t a bad drive, but it is a little further than we ideally would go for a park workout in normal circumstances.cooper mountain

What drew me to try out Cooper Mountain in the first place was, unlike Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Cooper Mountain has a playground, with slides and pull-up bars.  So, I wanted to check it out to see if that was a feasible option for a playground workout if we wanted a change of scenery once in a while.cooper mountain playground structure

Unfortunately, for me and Chris, almost the entirety of the park is in the open air, with direct sunlight.  The sun tends to turn both of us into whiny, cranky 4-year-olds, and this nature trail had some steep hills.  Furthermore, the trail goes down a valley, so regardless which way we went, we would be going downhill at the beginning of the workout, and uphill towards the end.  So, our nature trail workout was bound to get on our nerves.cooper mountain map

But wait!  As you can guess, I added more to the workout than just a 3 mile jog.  Oh, no!  Today, I wanted us to do exercises at every bench (like we did at Tualatin Hills Nature Park on Thursday), AND every interpretive sign we came across.  I wanted it to be a little different routine than Tualatin Hills, too, so I decided the set we would do at benches would be arm exercises, and the set we would do at signs would be leg exercises.bench and sign at cooper mountain

Our nature trail workout looked like this:

  • Jog around trail, 3 miles.
  • Bench: 10 dips, 10 Incline push-ups, 25 Russian twists
  • Signs: 10 Lunges, 10 Squat Jacks, 25 calf raises.

I should have counted how many sets we did of arms and legs, but I would venture to guess we did at least 6 of each.  chris working at cooper mountain

I wanted to die at the end of the trail.  It was a pretty consistent incline and at one point I slowed down to bring my heart rate back down from the potential explosion I felt was about to happen, but then I could NOT make my legs move faster.  I tried that whole mind over matter, and willed them to move, but they wouldn’t pay attention to me.  Eventually, after a couple more Interpretive Sign stops, I made them behave and we finished the whole trail in 67 minutes.

While it would be nice to try this again to see if we can improve, I never want to do that trail again as long as I live.  Well, okay, maybe as long as the sun isn’t beating down on us in 80 degree heat (in OCTOBER!!!!).  So, if it stays dry in, say December, we might try it again.

The playground might also be something fun to try out, too, once the weather cools down.  There were a bunch of kids playing on it, so it might not work out to our advantage, but there were some equipment and structures that I’d like to attempt a BINGO or circuit training workout.

cooper mountain playground
cooper mountain playground wagon
cooper mountain playground logs

All in all, we were exhausted after the workout, we felt we accomplished something, and even though it was irritating to us, we were outside in nature.  Not a bad way to stay in shape.view from nature trail workout

One thought on “Nature Trail Workout”

  1. Yes it was a great workout and yes the sun sucks. Even though I was cranky and a bit of a jerk I think it was time well spent. For anyone that doing these workouts be careful when your tired, its seems I’m more prone tripping on the uneven ground when I’m dead tired.

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