First let’s get into why outdoor workouts are so important. As we’ve mentioned before, fitness in all forms have their strengths and weaknesses. When in comes to well rounded routines and techniques my personal favorite is outdoor HIIT and Bodyweight exercises. There is no more beneficial place to free the mind and body than out in nature. Taking in the peace and quite found out in our environment will add to the benefits of weight loss, stress, relief, and focus.
As strange as it sounds, the first few times you try working out outside it can feel a bit awkward. Escaping the bright halogen bulbs and sounds of the gym when working out can feel lonely in the beginning, this will soon give way to a feeling that you have found a new sanctuary if you follow a few simple rules.
So let’s get into how we can be more successful in making this a “life change” rather than just something we do a few times and give up on.
Make Outdoor Workouts Fun
Sounds simple enough but it is vital if you are to be successful. I highly recommend using techniques you enjoy the most to start your outdoor journey. For example, if you love yoga, you should begin your outdoor experience by doing a yoga session or two on your own or with a friend. Try doing fun and active movements like cartwheels! Jump rope, sprinting, air-squats, and planks are all great things to do out in nature. Volleyball, tennis, basketball, and other team sports are great as well but for the maximum payoff you’ll need to find something that gets you away from the crowd and noise.
Find your Tribe
For multiple reasons it’s a good idea to find 1 or 2 people that have similar goals. Motivation is one of the key factors in having a small group to explore with. There’s a pretty good chance that once this starts to become a habit you will want to find time to get away with your tribe of explorers. When there are at least 2 people motivated they will tend to push one another in new ways and bring new activities and workouts to the table as well. Safety is another good reason to have at least 1 other person to explore with; depending on where you live this may be a “must have”. Take your tribe and get away from it all, get comfortable in your new sanctuary and get creative with your movements and workouts. There are not limits, just keep moving!
Leave the Phone in the Car
I highly recommend leaving the phone in the car or at the very least turning it off and keeping it out of your hand. Keep in mind that in each of us there is a small child that wants to play. As children we were rarely drawn to such trivialities as cell phones, what we really wanted was to go out and play. I would recommend researching workouts and routines ahead of time so you don’t feel inclined to resorting to the interwebs at all. Why be out and nature and staring at a false light screen, we get enough of that in our daily lives. Give your eyes a vacation from false light for that hour or two you are in nature.
Cancel the Music
I get it, many of us (including myself) love music when we workout. But this is as much a vacation for your mind as it is a workout, if you want the full benefit be fully present in your environment. If you must listen to music I would recommend Classical or something Ambient, nothing loud and jolting. We want to let our heart rate match the movement, be one with ourselves and appreciate the solitude. Get unplugged, free the mind, and focus on your workout and surroundings.
Be Sure to Meditate
This is VERY important if you plan to make outdoor workouts a part of your everyday life. End your workout early if necessary to make time for this step. Take a moment to sit, be still, and just be. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to be in the moment, let everything else go. No work, no bills, no noise, no distractions. Just you, focusing on you! It will set you free and if done right will have you looking forward to this workout whenever you can.