Not a big fan of the gym? Disliking indoor exercising is not a valid excuse to skip your training session. But let’s be honest: when the weather is nice and inviting, locking yourself in a weight room seems like a poor choice. Luckily, you can break a sweat outdoors, too! Studies have shown being outdoors has vitalizing effects on your body, it can be a huge mood booster, help you sleep better, and make a positive impact on your overall well-being.
Wondering about outdoor training essentials? Keep reading.
Understanding Different Terrains
In case you’re a devoted runner or currently trying to develop a habit, it’s useful to know varying different running surfaces will help you get more out of your training session. It engages your leg muscles differently, while changing sceneries has benefits for your mental health and the level of enjoyment. Soft surfaces (such as tartan track, trails in woods, or grass) are great at absorbing impact, plus they make you use your small stabilizer muscles that usually stay passive. Harder surfaces are also beneficial, as well as inclines. The calories you burn running depend on a number of factors, but in any case – it’s good to challenge your body and build stamina by altering the amount of strain, i.e. by switching terrains.
Proper Weights and Equipment
Consider using ankle and wrist weights to get more out of your outdoor training session. They will fatigue your muscles faster, and as you probably know – you have to tire your muscles in order to grow stronger. A frequent rookie mistake is to think that increasing a number of repetition will result in more toned legs, but this is not entirely true. You have to use weights: do standing back kicks, walking lunges, or variations of squats with weights and you’ll notice your legs getting more muscular. Also, working out outdoors implies having the right kind of shoes (e.g. extra durable moisture-wicking models) and quality fitness clothing that is weatherproof and appropriate for exercising outside. Using a weighted jumping rope is another good idea: it’s a great cardio workout, it will help you work on your shoulders while boosting your metabolism.
Get Creative With Your Exercises
Working out outdoors is all about utilizing benches and other objects in order to properly execute each exercise. Need to work on your biceps, shoulders, and back? Pull-ups are great for targeting these muscle groups. Find a strong branch or a pole and start lifting yourself up. If you want to engage your chest muscles, find a park bench to lean on and do some push-ups. You can also do bench hops – an effective exercise for strengthening your glutes and legs. It’s quite simple: firstly, sit on the edge of the bench. Then jump in the air as high as you can while simultaneously throwing your arms up. You can also use the bench as your stepper while doing step-ups, just think outside of the box.
Mind Your Health
Exercising outdoors has many benefits, but that doesn’t mean you should take your health for granted. Depending on the weather conditions, you should dress accordingly (e.g. layered clothes in the winter, loose and light-colored fits in the summer) and stay well hydrated. Wearing sunscreen is mandatory and staying on running tracks that are in shade is advisable. The best times for breaking the sweat are early morning or evening, as temperatures are usually most soothing for human body then. If you’re preparing for a marathon, take special care of your nutrition: study conducted by the University of Minnesota has shown that increasing “good carb” intake the night before a heavy workout can be extremely beneficial for the overall performance.
Breathing fresh air and soaking in the sun sure sound wonderful, especially in means of contributing to an inspiring environment for your fitness regime. Keep these outdoor training essentials in mind and you’ll find it easier to continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle!