Now the sun is out and the days are getting longer, it’s time to swap the stuffy gym for blue skies and fresh air. A change of scenery will give your brain a boost, as well as provide a range of opportunities for new exercises and workouts you might not be able to do in the gym. Make the most of these by supplementing your gym workouts with at least one outdoor workout a week, ensuring you get plenty of vitamin D as well as a stimulating new challenge.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, make the most of this beautiful landscape and feel the benefits of beach running. You expend more energy running on the soft sand, and the relatively low impact (compared to pavement or treadmill running) means you are placing far less stress on your knees and ankles. Because the sand is soft, it forces your muscles to engage more and increases the activity of stabilising muscles in your joints, reducing the likelihood of injury or strain.
Tree Pull Ups
When you’re working out in the great outdoors, use what’s available to get the most out of your session. Being outside doesn’t mean you have to forego your favourite workouts. Low, sturdy tree branches make great alternative to bars, providing a change of pace if you are running or doing cardio work outside. Just ensure the branch is definitely strong enough to hold your weight!
Rather than increasing the incline on your treadmill, find a steep hill to run up and get the added bonus of a great view from the top. Training to run uphill can boost your performance in a wide variety of ways, and is definitely encouraged to make a part of your regular routine. Uphill running not only reduces your chance of shin splints, but it also helps with your speed by increasing your leg muscle.
Add variety to an outdoor running session by stopping at a bench to do bench dips and/or push ups. This basic bodyweight exercise is a great way to add variety into your routine and work your triceps, as well as adding a decent stretch into the mix - this particular workout is great at loosening up the muscles. It is also intensive on the shoulders, so avoid this if you struggle with shoulder flexibility.
The jump rope exercise
is a favourite for many people both inside and outside the gym. As well as strengthening your core, arms and legs, it also provides an effective cardio workout in a relatively short space of time. Ropes are light and easy to transport, making them an ideal accompaniment on an outdoor workout. If performed properly, skipping rope exercises also induce less strain on your knees and ankles than jogging.
One of the benefits of being outdoors is the space you have to perform a variety of exercises. Jump squats are an ideal option, targeting plenty of muscle groups and greatly improving your athletic performance. They can easily be incorporated into any outdoor routine and offer variety in heavy cardio workouts.
For more exercise and workout tips for this summer, keep an eye on the Fitness Store Facebook Page, and our Google+.