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By: Gus Ayinbode
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Take in a deep breath and feel the benefits of working out in the great outdoors

Winter is behind us and the clock has gone forward. Days are longer and we have much more time to play. In fitness terms this means we can pause our gym memberships to pursue interesting outdoor activities.
 
 
It is an obvious choice, the clear environmental advantages of the great outdoors - with its natural ray [sunshine] of essential vitamin D, increases oxygen intake, and better sensory stimulation is good for your health and wellbeing. Admittedly though, as a modern species - we are all guilty of choosing to drive to the gym to either join a packed class, or use a resistance machine under air conditioning and lighting.
 
We are fundamentally hunter-gatherers by nature, so outdoors should be our natural pursuit choice. Exercising outdoors exposes us to natural, elastic, exuberant and challenging movement(s). Exercising or having physical fun outside with its uneven ground and changing wind and air resistance - helps strengthen joints and ligaments and improves balance.
 
So you can start with investing on a good quality road/hill trainers and either join your local running or cycling club. Failing this - with a buddy simply step outside and jog/cycle and enjoy the scenery of nearby hills, parks or fields that take your fancy. You could add hill intervals to challenge yourself, and to crank up the intensity - you can also time each circuit jog/cycle and see if you can complete it quicker. Try to choose a route that has minimal traffic [people and cars] and remember to wear a helmet if cycling.
 
Recently, local parks and commons all over the country have had various pieces of outdoor gym equipment installed by The Great Outdoor Gym Company. This means the gym bunny in you can now show off all your skills to a new audience while still enjoying what you love doing. Add a park run route to replace the jogging machine, and you’ll have a complete punishing all body conditioning workout that has everything.
 
Those of you whom want more structure, or such outdoor equipment is yet not available in their town - then I offer you 6 of the best outdoor all season resistance exercises with just the use of the park bench and railings as props. You can train by yourself or with friends.
 
Perform 8,12 or 15-20 repetitions (beg/int/adv) on each exercise (or leg) depending on your level. Then after each circuit - run round the park again and repeat the whole sequence 2-5 times.
 
 
SQUATS
Stand shoulder width apart. Squat down till your hips are in line with knee, then breath-out as you rise up to a stand up position. Repeat for the desire reps.
 
 
PRESS-UPS (low rail)
Stand behind a stable bench (or rail) with hands shoulder width apart. Always keep torso strong and stable as you lower chest to bench bending at the elbows. Pause as chest gently touches the rail, then press back up to the get set position. Repeat for desired reps
 
 
STEP-UPS (bench)
Stand in-front of a stable bench and step up with the left leg, then the right and lower in the same order. Repeat for desire reps then change and start with the other leg first.
Note: Check that your knee is 90 degree knee or more as you step on for that first rep. If less then that, then the bench is too high for you and will cause you pain and discomfort. 
 
 
RAIL HANGMAN (low rail)
Stand in-front of a low stable railing [find a suitable one] swing under and grip the bar with an under-hand grip. Brace your torso straight and strong as you pull-up your torso towards the bar. Pause and slowly lower to the get set position. Repeat for the desired reps.
Note: Keep your knees bent to assist you more.
 
 
STATIC LUNGE
Standing hip width apart, put one leg behind. Lower your knee to the ground and pause, then rise upward again. Keep your torso and head upright. Repeat for the desired reps then switch and work the other leg.
 
 
TRICEP DIPS (bench)
Place hands [palm down] on either side of your hip. Keeping your knees bent slowly lower body to the ground pause, then press upward. Repeat for the desired reps.
 
  
Many outdoor spaces also have basketball, football, tennis, netball, skate board and climbing areas that you can utilise towards you getting fit and having fun, so ditch the TV remote and call up a friend and GET OUT THERE!
 

REMEMBER!

  • Drink plenty of w ater
  • Put on sunscreen 30mins before you step out
  • Build up your running slowly
  • Discover new routes if bored
  • Workout in the morning or late evening- less pollution
  • Enjoy it the good weather is seasonal.
 
For more information on The Great Outdoor Gym Company visit
 
 
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