We are almost half way through the year (already!?) and if you have hit a wall or noticed a decrease in your gym motivation, it’s time to switch up your workout and swap the gym for the greater outdoors.
Whenever the first signs of summer appear, I take my workouts outside and it always feels like I have discovered exercise for the first time. I feel more motivated and my workouts suddenly become spontaneous and exciting, which is exactly what I need with summer being just a stone throw away.
With the sun rising at 5am and setting at around 8.30pm, I think everyone can find a few hours a week to exercise! It’s time to ditch the sticky gym sessions and take your workouts outside in the run up to summer, and here is why.
1) Lack of equipment leaves room for creativity.
I often find that my workouts become a bit repetitive because I’m faced with the same gym equipment week in and week out. Take away the equipment and the mind becomes creative in finding new ways to make your muscles hurt.
Sometimes I do hill sprints and shuttle runs, other times I do circuits and use whatever equipment I can find to assist my workouts. Park benches are great for decline press-ups, step-ups, dips…the list is endless!
If you’re stuck for ideas, find my full body workout circuit here and use it as a starting point. Play around with the exercises and build a circuit that suits you.
2) Bodyweight exercises increase strength and burn fat.
One of the main reasons why I love exercising outside is because I love doing body weight exercises. If you want to build lean muscle, without looking “bulky”, burn fat and increase your fitness levels, body weight exercises should be appear regularly in your weekly exercise routine.
I do three body weight sessions a week and the exercises that I do work lots of muscle groups, which is good for those of you who are pushed for time.
Push ups, jump squats, triceps dips and lunges are just a few examples of the bodyweight exercises that you can do. You don’t need to go to the gym or lift weights to be strong!
3) Outdoor workouts are usually harder.
When you’re exercising in the gym, it’s easy to just sit there and let the machine do the work for you. But, when you’re outside it is all you! The treadmill isn’t there to make your legs move faster and you can’t use the machine to make the resistance easier.
The weather can also impact your workout and make it harder. Running into the wind is a nightmare, but it is great resistance training and it will help you to burn more calories and become fitter. If you can run into the wind, imagine how fast you will be able to run when it isn’t windy!
4) No one enjoys running on the Dreadmill
Running on the dreadmill (treadmill) is mind numbingly boring and it is easier than running outside because the belt does a lot of the work for you! Instead of running on the machine and counting down the minutes until your run is over, pick a scenic route and enjoy exploring the greater outdoors as you run.
If you are looking to increase your speed and stamina, add a bit of interval training into your workouts and instead of avoiding the hills, sprint up them!
5) Your friends can join in on the fun.
The best thing about working outside is that you can do it with your friends. You don’t have to worry about sorting out gym passes, just find a park or an outdoor space and create your own gym. Schedule weekly training sessions with your friends and together you will become fitter, leaner and stronger. Exercising is more fun when you have your friends smiling with you.