by Justin Sarmast
The hot days and warm nights of summer are almost upon us. The time for tank tops, swim suits, and humidity is coming into focus from just over the horizon. If you’re feeling the desire to get into shape for summer but want a prettier setting than the four walls of a gym, look no further than Anne Arundel County fitness paradise Quiet Waters Park. While the South River Overlook and dog park bring most of the traffic, Quiet Waters Park provides ample equipment, both natural and manmade, for the fitness enthusiast. Boasting multiple pull-up bars, parallel bars, benches for bodyweight exercises, the park also has enough trails to keep your heart pumping for up to six miles.
Quiet Waters is one of the more popular parks in Anne Arundel County. Aside from working on longer distance cardio on the trails and muscular endurance on the equipment, there are hills and steps to provide a challenge for increasing anaerobic threshold (important for heart health and weight loss). If you need more stimulation between sets on the many pieces of equipment around the park, try bodyweight squats on the benches between the workout stations. The motivation from being surrounded by beautiful hills and trees while achieving better fitness cannot be exaggerated.
While the park charges a daily entry fee for cars or $30 for an annual sticker, save your money and do your heart a favor by parking across the street in the library parking lot and walking into the park.
After Your Workout—Replenish Your Body:
The Green Monster Smoothie
A strong exercise game is only half the battle. We truly are what we eat. All you need to get started is a blender.
The magic ingredients: 4 stalks of kale, 1 banana, a knot of ginger, half an avocado, and 4 pitted dates. Hold the “ewwws” until after you try this monster of a healthy shake. I recommend putting the avocado, banana, and ginger in the blender first for consistency’s sake. Then place the kale and dates on top (be sure to wash the kale thoroughly). Blend it up to your desired thickness.
Kale belongs to the cruciferous (dark green, high calcium) family, providing vitamin A and fiber among other health benefits. The avocado provides ample healthy fat, which is not just recommended, but necessary in a healthy diet to maintain energy. If the ginger (aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and blood flow benefits) is too strong on your stomach, try substituting with turmeric (ginger family, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits). This low-calorie, high-energy shake is a great way to start the day off right and continue towards the goal of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Justin Sarmast is a personal trainer, shirtless chef, and resident of Riva, Maryland. You can contact him at email@example.com
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