Sam-Briggs
Source: CrossFit Inc

Conquer Your Fitness Slum: Experience The Great Outdoors

Working out is not just a routine or a compulsion, it's a lifestyle that we consciously choose to adapt to.

At the same time, this lifestyle can become mundane and could require a little switching up to make it more interesting. Do you get bored easily? Or maybe routine and the “same place, same time” regimen doesn’t really work for you? If so, it might be time to try something new!

Although my fitness was on point and going on smoothly, I felt the air of monotony settling in after a few months and I wanted to tweak my routine just that little bit; not drastically but just enough to make that difference. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love working out at home on my cardio machine and I only chose the one that best suited me, but I just craved that change. And how exactly did I do that?

By shifting my routine outdoors! Why outdoors? The real question here is, why not?

A closed environment can sometimes lack that fresh and open feel that some of us truly cherish. Not that working indoors or in a closed gym doesn’t yield the results we want, but a change of scenario can do wonders and pump up the adrenaline a little more than usual.

Indoors vs Outdoors

What I love the most about working out outdoors is the fresh breeze and the not-so-constructed space that is available to me. My workouts feel more spaced out and free for movement. And really, isn’t exercising all about letting your body loose and soaking in all the energy?

Indoor workouts have their own appeal too; you’re in a less dynamic and more stable environment, you can change your setting and not the other way around and so on. The biggest difference between these two workouts is obviously the environment, but it also has a lot to do with convenience and adaptability.

If you’re someone who prefers to work with familiar territory and stay in your comfort zone, indoor workouts would be your preferred option.

On the other hand, if you want to push past your comfort zone and work with something more dynamic and challenging, outdoor workouts might just be your thing.

The benefits of outdoor exercising:

  • Boundaries

In a closed environment, your space or boundaries are more spelled out for you. The walls and the floor are not as flexible or adapting. On the other hand, when you exercise outdoors, there really aren’t any limitations. The sky is open and there are no walls, making your workout environment more flexible and easy.

  • Fresh air

Whatever said and done, there’s nothing like breathing I’m fresh air while exercising. Most gyms are air conditioned, which is only an artificial way of cooling the body. Also, breathing in fresh oxygen is great for the lungs and for better stamina, which is only going to improve the quality of your workout.

  • Out of the box

When you workout outdoors, you can experiment with several different exercises and are not restricted to machines only. Skipping, jumping jacks, going for jogs and short runs are only possible outdoors and not indoors. It’s not the same as running on a treadmill!

  • More movement

There’s nothing better than cycling outdoors or swimming in a pool and building on that lean muscle. Even sports and outdoor games are great ways to induce free movement into your exercise regime, something which is not always possible indoors.

What are the restrictions of working out outdoors?

  • Bad climatic conditions like rainfall or snowing could hinder your workout majorly.
  • There is a higher risk of injuries because the surface isn’t even or designed for exercising.
  • Moving equipment outside can also be quite cumbersome, especially if it’s anything heavy.
  • Other obstacles such as the wind may also cause a problem during some exercises.

What are the different outdoor workouts that are effective?

Working out outdoors isn’t just about replicating indoor workouts. There are different variations and each one has its own benefits.

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Let’s take a look at these thoroughly effective outdoor workouts:

Cardio outdoors

Cardio in general is a great way to stay fit and sweat it out. Lots of people go for cardio-specific exercises in their gyms. Now, what about cardio outdoors? It is great for better blood circulation and also for increasing general stamina and lung capacity. In fact, cardiovascular exercises are believed to be much more effective when done out in the open. Here’s a list of different forms of cardio you can try outdoors.

Uphill sprinting – 15-20 minutes of uphill sprinting with alternating 2-minute breaks is a great way to build on your hamstrings and calves.

Trail Running – Trail running is basically finding different trails outdoors, which could vary from park trails, to forest and wild trails. The great thing is that each trail is different from the other and needs to be dealt with carefully. This offers both diversity and excitement!

Variation skipping – This is also another great outdoor exercise to condition your leg muscles and glutes. Each variation can be repeatedly performed for 3 minutes and paused with a 30-second break.

Sand sprinting – If you have a beach or sandy area nearby, make the most of it! Sprinting on sand has 3 times more resistance than sprinting on a regular flat surface. The resistance is great for strengthening muscles.

Trekking – Trekking not only builds strength but also helps with improving agility and stability in the body. No indoor machine can train the legs the way proper outdoor trekking does!

Rowing While there are quite a few machines that mimic the action of rowing a boat, there’s nothing better than actually rowing one. The rowing motion works on the lats, biceps, and traps as well as the shoulder and back muscles.

Bodyweight exercises

Again, bodyweight exercises done indoors and outdoors have a whole different feel to them. It is definitely more challenging and fruitful as well when done out in the open. Here’s a list of 10 outdoor bodyweight exercises you should definitely give a shot:

  • Mountain Climber
  • Bear Crawling
  • 60 second interval Plank
  • Lunge Jumps
  • Single-leg Deadlift
  • Dolphin Push-ups
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Superman
  • Arm circles
  • Flutter Kicks

Full body workouts

Sometimes you need to get the whole body working and these are how you can do just that. These kind of exercises improve your flexibility and tone your body – getting rid of fat and improving lean muscle.

Kettlebell workouts  Using a kettlebell is a very effective way of doing an all-round workout. Kettlebell squats and lunges are also a great way of working on the core muscles and legs simultaneously. This can be paired with 2 minutes skipping drills.

Sports – Playing any type of sport that you’re good at or are trying to learn is super effective when it comes to getting fitter and building on stamina!

Wild Swimming  If you have a clean river or a sea nearby and you do know how to swim confidently, go ahead and get those muscles working. Swimming is one of the best all-around body training exercises which condition all the muscles in the limbs and also helps with building a much stronger core. A lot of people have taken to wild swimming because of how nature-friendly and challenging it can be.

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