It’s officially Spring and now the clocks have gone forward it feels as though there are more hours in the day. Lighter mornings, longer evenings and warmer temperatures mean it’s the perfect time of year to take your workout out of the gym and into the park.
I always suggest making one of your workouts an outdoor one; the fresh air is instantly invigorating and it never hurts to shake things up. The quality of air when you’re working out outside is far superior to the recirculated air in gyms and offices that we spend a lot of day breathing in and out. The other thing that’s great about an outdoor workout is you never have to queue for equipment – you can use your own bodyweight for a total body workout, or take some equipment with you.
It’s also the time of year when our bodies don’t crave sleep in the way we do in the darker winter months. The more sun, the less time we need under the duvet. So shake off those cobwebs and get outside for a boost of Vitamin D – everything about this will be good for you.
So my first piece of advice for working out outside is to ditch the treadmill. Take your morning run into the park, onto the road or by the river. It’ll feel slightly tougher than the steady treadmill, but that in itself will improve your fitness and endurance. In fact, as you get used to running outside look for obstacles like hills and inclines. Find an incline and sprint up it five times, using the jog back to the beginning as active recovery – it’ll increase your calorie burn, test your lungs and get the blood pumping.
Skipping ropes are an essential piece of kit and are the easiest thing to take with you outside or on holiday to get a calorie burn. They require very little space, but will get your heart-rate up and burn a tonne of calories.
If you feel so inclined pack a kettlebell, some free weights or a TRX and set yourself up some circuits. Or make a pact with a workout buddy so you can spur each other on.
What’s most important here is that spring opens up the possibilities of how you can workout. Repetitive cardio in the gym can make way for workouts that are a little more varied, exciting and ultimately, rewarding.
Tweet me at @dalton_wong and show me how you’ve been working out outside – I’d love to see!