We’ve all got our own ways of keeping healthy, some of us play sports to stay in shape, others hit the gym, but if we are being a bit uninspired, especially if we spend a lot of time indoors exercising, maybe it’s time to think about getting out a bit more? Apart from playing sports, you’d be surprised as to how many things you can do that aren’t just benefits for you, health-wise, but being out in the open air and the elements can provide that extra challenge to your workout that you wouldn’t normally have in a gym. So let’s give you some suggestions.
The Outdoor Gym
So many gym memberships have taken advantage of this, getting out in the great wide open to do something akin to CrossFit or just getting very muddy can shake up your usual gym routine. And even for those people who don’t have the money for a gym membership, there’s a lot to be said for those purpose-built gyms installed in fielded areas. Depending on your local council, you may find a very useful ‘mini-gym’ of sorts not far from you. This gives you the ability to do all of the usual workouts, with the benefit of being out in the open.
It’s still a very trendy workout, and for very good reason! You can choose when to train and the resistance provided by the bike and the surface you’re riding on can push you to your very limits. And let’s not forget bonking, which isn’t as fun as it sounds! It’s a cycling term for hitting the wall. Which is quite a common occurrence, especially at the very outset of your exercising journey, but this is something we should be pushing for. Working yourself to exhaustion, as long as you give yourself time to recover, means you are getting stronger every time you get out on the bike. And let’s not forget the elements! Riding out in the rain, or any adverse weather conditions can add that extra challenge.
Get Into The Sea!
Be careful with swimming in the sea, because even the strongest swimmers can get sucked into a particularly dangerous tide. But, if you pick your waters carefully, not only can you get amazing exercise, but you can get an extra shock to the system in the form of cold exposure. The same applies to surfing; if you venture into that cold water, it can be a shock at the very beginning, but the more you get used to it, the more your body benefits. There are numerous benefits to getting into the cold, not just for your immune system, but for strength recovery after a particularly arduous workout.
Sometimes the old ones are the best, eh? But while everybody seems to give a running a go, they don’t always do it properly. If you are to go running, and you want to take it seriously, it’s not just about the right shorts and shirt, but having the right pair of trainers, as well as practising your running style, can minimise the impact on your joints. A lot of people think that running is easy because you just put one foot in front of the other, but if you do it wrong, you could give yourself so many injuries. But one of the great benefits of running is that it can help you to increase your vo2 max, which is essentially your oxygen intake. While exercise, in general, can help with this, running is a very visceral way to increase your vo2 max, especially if you suffer from breathing issues like asthma.
You can hit the gym, or you can hit the road! If you pick a route on your running journey that goes by a few tree branches, or maybe a park, you can incorporate a few pull-ups, press ups, and pretty much anything you want into the workout. You don’t necessarily have to have exercise equipment, especially at the very beginning; your body weight will be plenty. If you look at any army training, they don’t hit the gym, they use their body weight!
The great wide open isn’t just a fantastic way to get your Vitamin D intake, but it’s also a great way to feel the burn when you’re running in cold weather. You can fight the elements when it’s raining, but also change your routine to keep your body guessing. And this is the advantage outdoor training has over any indoor gym, because it will always be different. So, get out!