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.

Given that we are Outdoor Enthusiasts, I thought you might find this Website by the Environmental Working Group (a non-profit consumer advocacy group), interesting.
 
I found out that of the sunscreens that I've been using, one should "be avoided" due to health concerns (Neutrogena SPF 55); and the other made it to the "Hall of Shame" b/c it doesn't block the UVA rays that can cause skin cancer (Banana Boat Baby -- I thought b/c it was for babies, it would be gentle!).  

From the original article written by Tina Vindum for Athleta Chi. 
 
It’s the first nice day in more than a week. After days and days of rain, people on the street seem to be less stressed — smiling more, interacting more, and making eye contact. What is it about being outdoors—especially on a nice day?
 
There’s Power Out There!
Mounting research shows the profound effect that fresh air, plants, trees and natural outdoor elements have on our health and well-being.

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.
 

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!

Life is NOT a linear event!  For better results - mix it up.
 
The simple truth about fitness is this:  Exercise that can be done in an outdoor location, or site, that includes hilly or mountainous trails, a grassy city or suburban park, a sandy beach, can and will better your performance. By utilizing a variety of terrain, you will learn a new degree of body awareness and train your body to move in a variety of ways.

Cardiovascular Training - Using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
 

RPE is a simple and effective method of monitoring your heart rate. It is a useful tool for monitoring the perceived level of muscular, cardiovascular and psychological fatigue. Whether used with or without a heart rate monitor, the RPE offers a correlation between your perception or “intuition” of your physical and mental output, and your actual heart rate.
 

Setting up an RPE during a workout

This simple RPE scale goes from 1 to 10—1 being a very weak (easy) effort, and 10 being maximum effort.  The RPE scale can easily be used in correlation with the Heart Rate Training Zones.

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