Best of the outdoors
Working out does not have to mean you need to lift sledge hammers, weights, alligators or anything else you can find in the gym over your head. Lots of people accustom exercising with lifting large sums of weights and this can have a psychological effect on them. The term ‘exercise’ is just the ability to move your tissues through their range of motion which leads to utilising energy within the body to accelerate this movement. So whichever way you choose to workout whether it is through labouring, working in a warehouse or a gym goer you it is a form of exercising. Don’t get caught up in the old ‘you need to get yo ass to the gym to workout’. Personally, I find it boring constantly going to the gym and doing the same old stuff, you need to change it up mix and match things to get the most benefit and more importantly to enjoy what you are doing. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the old ages where we didn’t have the internet, phones, instagram and cars, where we relied on the great outdoors to get our exercise…..
Mother nature as ruthless it can be through natural destructions, it is an amazing veneer of terrain for us to exercise on. Exercising in the natural environment is great for our minds too, colours such as greens, scenery such as hills, trees and even animals play an amazing role for our minds, not to mention another very important thing … anyone guess? It’s the gas we breath. Oxygen!! Oxygen fuels all of our cells, without it we will die, each and every cell in our body loves the molecule, it’s like chocolate cake for them! They want more and more. When we go outside and take big deep breaths we effectively engulf mass amounts of oxygen which helps to dilate our blood vessels, give us energy and improve brain activity too. All this helps improve our concentration and mood throughout the day.
There are plenty of benefits to exercising outdoors and yes you can take your functional equipment to parks or wherever you wish to go and have a workout there. You could even go for a hike or a bike ride or even spreading a mat out and doing some stretches and yoga. The idea here is that whatever type of exercise you are doing, you have a view not just looking in the mirror at yourself or the squat rack next to a boring old wall…that can get boring after sometime.
If you are one who hasn’t tried working out outside, or haven’t done it in a long time then go give it a go. Even if you want to have a bodyweight workout, go get some music, a bottle of water with maybe a piece of fruit and have fun! Be creative and don’t worry about taking up space – there’s plenty of land around so you don’t need to knock in to the screamer next to you. It’s so refreshing doing a workout outside, you don’t need to suffer at busy peak times of the gym which can lead to stifling air and a lack of equipment available.
Go nuts and be creative with what you want to do! Go for a hike and during the hike get down and bust out a set of 20 or so press ups. If you see a bar or a tree with solid branches then why not crack out a few sets of chin ups. You can even use the tree trunk for ski squats and wall walks. If you’re on the beach then why not do some running followed by a few stretches then swim, maybe if the beach had rocks you could carry out a hardcore boot camp style session – chuck rocks around the place without hitting others around you obviously. If you’re in the mountains somewhere then why not just go for a long day hike. If you want to hit the trails, then get on a mountain bike and smash some muddy routes out for the day – Believe me this is very difficult! You’ll have jelly legs after that.
There are many ways of exercising and taking advantage of the great outdoors. I’m not saying it’s a substitute to the gym but it can be a nice change to the standard few sets and reps you do. It is also beneficial for muscle growth as it adds a shock to your system and improves motor unit activation by making them work in varying ways.
So give it a go, you have nothing to lose, nature is a free landscape gym for us to use. You will only benefit from it and who knows you might start manipulating your workout schedule with more of the outdoors!