Monday, 17 June 2019

Outdoor Training

With the warmer weather finally here, it might be time to take your training outdoors. It’s not just for runners and cyclists, gym-goers can take training outside too.

There are many benefits to training outdoors:
- The fresh air is much nicer than the sweaty, air-conditioned gym air. 
- Sunshine (which has a whole host of health benefits and is something many people, especially in this country, don’t get enough of).
- Grounding/Earthing – getting your bare skin in contact with the earth has also been shown to have many health benefits.
- You can use different exercises to what you’re used to doing in the gym since you have more space and are away from machines. A great opportunity to mix up your training for a while.

Whilst there may not be any of the machines you’re used to using outdoors, and while you may still need to use the gym for some heavier resistance-based sessions, you can get a lot done with just your bodyweight and your surroundings.

Bodyweight exercises are great for both building strength and working on your conditioning – push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, burpees and many more are all great options that are always beneficial to work on. 

Mastering these basic bodyweight movements will always be complimentary to other weight training and general movement health.

The open space is a great chance to work on some sprints – something that too few people utilise, and that aren’t quite the same on a treadmill! (A word of caution though – build yourself up to these and always remember your limits. And warm-up very well first!)

Speed and agility work (with cones, speed ladders, hurdles etc.) is also great for athletic performance as well as general co-ordination. Practicing acceleration, deceleration, change of direction and foot speed is another great way to change up your training and reap the rewards.

Tied in with this you have lower intensity exercises such as yoga and stretching – which would be great to do outdoors in a peaceful setting.

Not forgetting the more traditional outdoor activities mentioned before like walking, running and cycling – these are always more enjoyable outside in the real world than in the gym on treadmills and stationary bikes.

Then you have outdoor classes like Bootcamps…

Here you can do many of the above-mentioned exercises and more. Some of these classes will have more equipment than just bodyweight and park benches, and you can really make the most of the combination of the space to train and all the options that brings, with the resistance work offered by the equipment.

They’re also likely to have different equipment to what you’ll find in most gyms or different ways to use it.
Tyres, kettlebells, sleds, medicine balls, battling ropes, sledgehammers and more are often used to great effect in outdoor sessions.

The main point I’m trying to get across here, is to make the most of the good weather! You’re not limited to just training inside and the fresh air and sunshine will provide as much, or maybe even more benefit than the exercise itself.

Find some green space – local parks and fields, your garden, the beach… and just move!

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