Basking in the sunshine

Basking in the sunshine

Basking in the sunshine

Summer is a great time to get some family or friends together and take up some outdoor activities such as running, cycling, swimming, trekking and more.  Re-visit those carefree childhood days spent enjoying the sense of freedom and joy that comes from being outdoors.

You could be going on a summer vacation with the family – well turn it into one filled with activities outdoors. Who says holidays have to interfere with your fitness regime? You can come back from a holiday still in good shape or may be even better!
Depending on your holiday destination, you could line up treks, beach sports, cycling, canoeing, and climbing to mention a few. Not only will you stay fit and motivated but will be able to enjoy some quality family time building memories to last a life-time. Not to mention including these activities will also allow you to enjoy some indulgences in the gastronomy department!

No summer getaway planned? Being stuck working indoors in the summer months can leave you feeling hot, stuffy and well, somewhat wilted. Time then to take your workouts outside! It’s a great way to change up a routine that you may have been following for months, while getting some energizing outdoor time. Exercising outdoors is more challenging; a great way to up your functional fitness and energy levels. So when you are back indoors you can carry forward that energised feeling while looking forward to the next day when you’ll be out there again.

Advantages:

* Shaking up your workout routine and taking it outdoors can help stave off boredom, from following the same program for an extended period of time.

* Outdoor workouts are a great way to increase the challenge for yourself on activities that you usually do on machines, such as running and biking. The effort required to do these same movements outdoors is more, due to elements such as wind resistance or the fact that you need to provide all the movement yourself without the machine doing any work for you. So, after a summer of running and biking and hiking outdoors, when you go back to your machines you will see improvements in your performance, energy, and stamina.

* Let’s be honest. When we’re on a cardio machine it’s very easy for us to turn it into a repetitive less focused effort and allow our mind to wander on to matters outside of our workout, including the magazine or TV in front of your machine. Outdoor activities don’t allow that loss of focus and therefore keep up the effort we put into our workout as we are constantly aware of our surroundings and responding to the environment around us.  
* Giving your indoor routine a break and focusing on more body-weight based training is a great way to increase your functional fitness and maximize overall fitness levels. Learning to use our bodies as an integrated whole without the assistance of machines helps to increase our co-ordination, balance, and control through strengthening of our core muscles.

* Getting out there in the sun is a great way to get some of that important vitamin-D, while revitalizing with better energy, decreased stress, less tension, and a great happy smile on your face and joy in your heart!

Exercising outdoors is fun, challenging, and can have you feeling better. Are you still reading this? Don’t you want to get up and be out there?


(The writer is a fitness trainer)

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