Are you getting bored with your current training routine? Are you sick of driving to the gym to work out when the weather is so nice? Are you stuck in a fitness rut and looking for some new ideas to renew progress? Warmer weather is here so why not take your fitness routine outside?
Let’s face it. Driving 30 minutes to the gym to walk on the treadmill and lift weights does not make much sense when the weather is nice. Not to mention you have been cooped-up all winter long, you are bored out of your mind with your fitness routine, and you have not seen any progress in months.
Sit back and get comfortable. I am going to share with you some ideas that will get you outside, get you interested in training again, and will help you experience a level of progress that you have not seen in years. Interested? I hope that you said YES!
In my 10 years in the fitness game I have found that it keeps coming back to a couple key points. One: You need to try to strive to do more from training session to training session. Two: We all need regular variety in their training (for psychological and physiological reasons). Today I am going to talk about the second point and teach you how getting a little variety in your training can help get you back on track. Check out these outdoor training ideas to add a little variety to your routine:
1. Take your weight training outside to mix it up: During the summer months I really enjoy taking my strength training outside. I love taking my weights out into my backyard or to the local park. Training with a loved one or a group of dedicated friends is a great way to do it. Some of the training tools that work well for outdoor training are kettlebells (shown in the picture below — looks like a big bowling ball with a handle), clubbells (a weighted bat), medicine balls (fun to throw around), sled dragging (great for athletes), weighted vest workouts, sandbag training (nothing fancy here, just sand in a bag), and good old dumbbells.
2. Try Some Interval Training to increase fat loss: Look, the “fat-burning” zone is a myth. Sure your body does use fat as an energy source after 30 minutes of continuous exercise at a certain intensity but the sports scientists have shown us that shorter efforts of higher intensity exercise can be even more effective at decreasing your body fat percentage (did you ever wonder why sprinters are so lean without having to run for 30 minutes straight???). A great way to incorporate interval training into your summer training can be as simple as warming up for 5-10 minutes and then alternating 30 seconds of more intense effort with 30 seconds of a more moderate effort. You could do this on your mountain bike, road bike, doing hill sprints, kayak sprints, jump roping, sprints on the track, or even doing a bodyweight callisthenic such as jumping jacks. Enjoy!
3. Perform mini-workouts throughout the day: A simple way to fit in some outdoor training is to pick any exercise and take short exercise breaks outside. You could walk out of your office and perform a set of squats, walking lunges, elevated push-ups, stair climbs where you skip steps, or even calf raises. Remember: It’s your total energy expenditure at the end of the day that is important — not doing it all at once.
4. Do some yard work: The yard is a mess so you might as well get a workout and be productive at the same time. Try stacking wood, raking leaves, building a rock wall, digging a hole (you decide what for), walk with a loaded wheelbarrow, carry things across the yard over your head, spread some mulch around your new plants that you just put in the hole you dug earlier.
5. Take in some scenery: Make the world your gym. Commercial health clubs have nothing on Mother Nature. Get yourself outside and go for a walk in the local park, go hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and go to the beach to run in the sand or jump in the waves. Getting outdoors can be a great way to adopt a fitness lifestyle and add some variety to your current training program.
6. Go for obstacle walks: A cool way to add some variety to your routine is to mix in some bodyweight calisthenics such as squats, push-ups, and jumping jacks into your summer walks to increase calorie expenditure and challenge your body. Walking on a treadmill is boring and predictable. Going for an obstacle walk through your local park can be a lot more enjoyable and the “chaos” of walking outside could be the right kind of variety you have been looking for.
7. Participate in a summer sports league: Playing sports is a great way to add some variety to your routine and have a blast doing it. There are hiking clubs, mountain biking clubs, road bike clubs, triathlon training clubs, softball leagues, martial arts tournaments, basketball leagues, and more. In fact, I am participating in a summer basketball league for the first time in years and I can’t wait to start. It’s a great chance to get outside, make new friends, and perform a fitness activity that enhances your life.
There you have it — 7 ideas to take your fitness training outside and incorporate some variety into your program. One thing to consider is to hit the gym a couple days a week and perform your other workouts outside. Mother Nature has provided us with some great options so get outside this summer and take advantage and I am sure that you will see renewed progress (and you’ll have a blast doing it!).
Train with purpose,