Outdoor training. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of these two words? A shudder at the thought of going for a run? Or maybe you’re a keen runner and these words make you smile as you picture knocking a minute off your best run time. Perhaps you’re more adventurous and outdoor training to you is rock climbing, kayaking, or hiking. You might play rugby, football or netball, and train outdoors each week. The point is, outdoor training is so much more than doing laps round your local park and it doesn’t have to be boring! Get outside and get creative.
The main advantage of outdoor training is that you can do it for free! If you’re short on cash or are saving for that fancy new car or dream holiday, you don’t have to fork out for a gym membership. There’s a huge variety of free material out there - from free eBooks to thousands of YouTube videos - to give you some inspiration and get you started. It’s definitely worthwhile roping in a buddy to keep you company - you can motivate each other and bounce off each others ideas.
Of course, if you do have something to spare, lots of clubs or trainers hold outdoor bootcamps and classes from as little as £1 per class. These can provide a little more guidance and offer a fun, competitive environment to motivate you, even on those icy cold days!
Many local parks and even sea front promenades now have basic machines that replicate what you would find inside a gym. You’ll find a mix of cardio and resistance machines that use your bodyweight, from cross trainers and static bikes to shoulder press and chest press. You can use these to mirror exercises from the gym while doing your outdoor training.
Don’t worry if your local park doesn't have these though! Get creative and use the park’s equipment to recreate your favourite exercises. You can use your average park bench to do tricep dips, step ups, squats and incline press-ups. Use the swings to work your abs - put your feet on the swing with your hands on the ground in a jack knife position and bring your knees into your chest. The monkey bars are the perfect place to practice your pull ups. Some parks also have calisthenic bars that you can use.
If you crave more adventure, you can try activities such as kayaking, canoeing, caving, hiking, sailing, abseiling, canyoning…. the list is endless. These types of outdoor training can provide an adrenaline boost and be so much fun that you don’t even realise you’re working out!