Outdoor Trainer

Turn the terrain around your neighborhood into the ultimate gym.

One of my favorite workouts is what I call "terrain training." Terrain training is simply taking advantage of whatever type of terrain you have and using it to your advantage. So for example, in the mountains, I like to make my way up a hill and use the downhill to slalom the pine trees (and sliding on their needles) to mimic skiing. Or using a dry riverbed for intense drills, by loading my legs and springing boulder-to-boulder. Other types of terrain training can involve grassy knolls, urban steps and sandy beaches. This is the first post in a series about terrain training - how to scout it, how to create workouts for maximum benefits, and how to keep it safe.

If you start every workout with a warm up for your body and mind - you will find that your workouts become easier, more enjoyable AND you'll take your fitness to a new level.
 
Every workout should begin with a five- to ten-minute warm-up. A warm-up is your time to limber up your body—and your mind—in preparation for the workout to come. It can be as simple as a walk or a jog.

Works: Core, back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, balance, proprioception
Props: Tree, post, wall, boulder
 

Starting position: Stand with your back to a tree that’s a few feet away. Keeping your hips squared with your shoulders, extend your arms overhead and lift your left leg off the ground and reaching back for the tree’s surface.
 

Short on time? Our "Quickie Workouts" pack a lot of activity into very little time—providing strength, flexibility and cardiovascular benefits in just a few minutes. These are the workouts you turn to when you think, “I’m way too busy today to exercise.” You can slip any of these workouts into a spare 10 minutes. Trust us, putting in that 10 minutes really does make a difference. It’s a whole lot better for your mind and body than doing nothing at all.
 

Sure, we all want great looking abs, but have you ever stopped to think about what your abdominals do?
 
The muscles of your abs or “core” help you with good posture. And every movement you make, from sitting, squatting, bending, twisting, reaching, walking and running, stems from your core. A strong core is not only a key ingredient for washboard abs, it’s critical in preventing injuries, especially in the lower back.
 
What exactly is the "Core"?

The Bad News:  Injuries can happen. Aches, muscle fatigue and soreness are part of life for active people and those involved in athletic endeavors.
 
The Good News:  Most injuries are preventable, and are often a result of overtraining and repetitive stress.
 
Overtraining
Overtraining symptoms bear much resemblance to chronic fatigue syndrome; body aches, tiredness and feeling flat or uninterested in training. The expression often used to sum up overtraining injuries is "too much, too soon.” Another one is "too far, too fast."

Turn your runs (and walks) into a full-body blasting adventure! Follow these simple steps to increase your fitness without increasing time spent on the trail.
 
I just came down off the mountain. Clothes drenched. Fully fatigued. Happy! What did I do? I hit the Coastal Trail on Mt Tamalpais for a trail run. Well, not your average trail run, I call it the 60:10 (sometimes I call it the 30:10). The 60:10 includes sixty minutes of cardio, and 10 strength/toning exercises; however, not the kind of exercises you'd expect!

You've heard it said before:  Thoughts are things. The impact of our mental and emotional selves on our physical selves cannot be overestimated.

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