I'm guilty of doing most of my training in the gym, but summer is here and I need to challenge my body to keep gaining results. Whilst there are obvious practical benefits to training indoors, exercising outdoors can have many advantages – and not just the beautiful scenery!
Varied exercise outside means you're more likely to work your body in new and different ways. Additional stresses and strains will bring some ace improvements, sending signals to the cells to tell them to build additional strength in our muscles. Brilliant stuff.
So strap on your runners, it's time to take it outside...
Top 5 benefits to Outdoor Exercise:
Vitamin D we get from exposure to the sun has awesome benefits (when you do it in moderation, obvs). Its a common treatment for depression and other mood disorders. Unsurprising really when you thin about how fabulous you feel when you step into sun rays. Endorphins (which lift your mood)are released by the body when you get some sun. Yahoo!
2. Mental Stimulation
Get outside for mental stimulation that indoor exercise just doesn't seem to give. Staring at the same 4 walls of your house or gym can be pretty dull, so take it outside for some brain stimulation and give your mind a workout too!
3. Psychological Benefits
An increasing amount of research shows outdoor activity is great for the mind. Exercising amongst trees and wildlife can give you a healthy mood boost and can help to combat anxiety and stress. Bonus points if you take your shoes off to feel the grass on your feet.
4. New Exercises
Despite claims that machines are a great simulation of the real thing, using a treadmill day in and day out will use the same muscles. Step outside for different inclines and street camber to switch on those muscles you never thought you had!
5. More varied workout
Outside you'll find different terrain that can't properly be simulated in the studio. You hit hills and different surfaces (think grade, mud, concrete, gravel) and flex limbs in different ways to handle it. Isn't that more fun than the cross trainer with a TV?!
Want to kickstart your new outdoor-exercise regime? Take a look at my fave providers in Sydney and surrounds:
1. Lazy Girl Fitness, Bondi Junction
This 6 week bootcamp will help get your best summer body. Outdoor group training (women only - sorry guys!) in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. You'll train 3 times a week for 45 minutes, plus receive advice on how to continue your new program at home. Need more support? Jess (head personal trainer and all-round superwoman) also makes herself available phone or via email to answer questions that come up over the course of the Challenge. To top if off, you'll also get an amazing goodie bag full of health products to kick-start your new regime. The Lazy Girl Fitness Blog has some amazing recipes, additional workouts and motivation - great reference material to keep you on track!
Next intake 12 January 2015
When: Mon + Wed + Fri at 6am, Waverley Park
2. Fitness First, Nationwide
Fitness First’s Outdoor Movement Training provides free Outdoor Yoga, Pilates and Bootcamp classes to members, giving them the opportunity to go further with their health and fitness. These classes are designed to give variety to members’ training, helping them stay motivated beyond the walls of the gym.
Cost: Free to members
When: View timetable
3. The Cube Gym, Collaroy Beach
Lewis McLean, Hayden Quinn, Sam Whittaker and the team at The Cube Gym have teamed up with the health and fitness-conscious folk at The Collaroy’s Pelican Pavilion to hold free weekly training sessions on the golden grains of Collaroy Beach. No need to sign up, simply rock up and go hard. After working a sweat on the sand, stay back and join the gang for a post-sesh game of touch footy or a beach swim, followed by a healthy breakfast at Sydney’s ultimate beach café, the Pelican Pavilion. My eyes are on that poached eggs and avo on rye - post-training perfection.
Cost: Free + cost of breakfast!
When: 7:30am Saturdays - meeting on the north side of The Collaroy Hotel
4. Savage Training, Sydney CBD
Small Group exercise programs means Savage Boys Justin Waldo and Justin Savage can tailor their programs to your specific needs whilst you enjoy the motivation of working with a team in various Parks and Reserves in Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Rushcutters Bay. They also offer indoor training (if the weather turns!) so you never miss a session.
Cost: $22 per session
When: Mon - Sat. View timetable
5. Lulu Lemon Summer Series, Stores Nationwide
Lululemon Athletica offers complimentary yoga classes in-store, but in summer they move sessions outside for their 'Summer Series'. All levels welcome and all classes are suitable for beginner yogis. Use outdoor yoga to add balance to your life and bring a bit of calm to your busy mind during the silly season.
Where: Locate a store for your local timetable
I hope you're reading this outside...
Embrace that fresh air Fitties!