This article is probably about 6 months too late for some and the thought of exercising outdoors during the winter months is about as enticing as swimming with piranhas! For those of you where this is the case, bear this article in mind for when the sun starts shining again… if ever. For those of you still feeling adventurous, feel free to read on.
Exercising within the confines of an enclosed gymnasium is all well and good for most people, and with new fitness centres opening up all over the place offering state of the art facilities, this option becomes more and more accessible. For some however, the thought of training indoors is totally unappealing and creates a claustrophobic reaction at the mere thought of it. So what’s the answer for these individuals? Quite simply, step outside and embrace the great outdoors.
Being at one with nature is all well and good but unless you have the necessary exercise knowledge then you can sometimes find yourself struggling to think up exercises that will be beneficial to you as part of a wider fitness routine. There’s no reason why you can’t put your body through its paces just because you’re away from the gymnasium setting. Consequently, this article aims to highlight several key exercises which can be completed with little or no equipment, so that next time you find yourself outdoors with an urge to complete some exercise, you know exactly what to do.
- Push-ups: One of the oldest and most effective upper body exercises available to you targeting the chest, shoulders and triceps region of your body – depending on whether you opt for a wide or narrow hand positioning. Also consider utilising objects such as benches to provide an inclined or declined element to your push-up.
- Pull-ups: Again an essential upper body exercise, this time targeting your back and biceps musculature. This exercise can be completed on anything from a low hanging tree branch to some play equipment at your local park. Consider altering your grip positioning from underhand to overhand to again place emphasis on alternate muscles.
- Squats: No lower body workout is complete without completing a series of squats. Performed correctly, this exercise targets your quadriceps, gluts and stabilising muscles in a single movement. If you’re looking for both variation and progression then why not consider a wide leg squat or even attempt a single legged version.
- Lunges: As with squatting, if done correctly, lunges will target the majority of your lower body muscles including your hamstrings region. These can be performed on the spot or as part of a moving exercise to achieve a set distance. Again, if your environment allows, consider lunging on to or off an object to bring about a degree of variation.
- Abdominals: Whether you’re inside or out, there’s simply no escaping exercising your abdominal and core stability muscles. This can be as simple as performing a basic sit-up on a flat surface or for the most adventurous amongst you, find an object to create a declined progression or locating somewhere to hang from and complete leg lifts.
As you can see just from the 5 exercises listed above, it’s easy to achieve a full body workout away from the confines of a gymnasium. These are just a selection of exercises too, if you’re able to stretch your imagination and utilise your surroundings then I’m sure you’ll have a selection of exercises to choose from in no time.
So for those of you that are not members of a gym, for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout elsewhere. After all, there’s much more to exercising outdoors than simply your cardiovascular options. Even if you do hold a gym membership, it’s not always convenient for you to attend the gym and on those occasions you always have exercising outdoors as a suitable alternative. So if you find yourself outdoors, take full advantage of the situation because it has the potential to offer just as much, if not more, than a gymnasium environment.