Get Outdoors!

Hey, is that you sweating up a storm on the treadmill? That’s fine if you just want to keep the pounds off and maintain an average level of fitness, but if you want to get truly fit and kick butt at your favorite sports, you’ll need more. Athletic training, serious athletic training—requires rigorous and disciplined physical and mental preparation. If you’re serious about your sports and fitness, you’ll need to incorporate strength, multidirectional drills and kinesthetic awareness training; which means, get off the machines and take it outside.
 
Your Outdoor Gym
You play outside, so why not train outside? It’s a fun, effective and efficient way to blur the lines between working out and spending time outdoors. (Think of it as downsizing). Out there, you must be keenly aware of your surroundings—slick grass, rocks, unstable ground and sudden twists and turns in the terrain. These environmental elements add mental and physical stimulation that you simply cannot duplicate indoors. Being outdoors refreshes your body, mind, and spirit. You feel alive, alert, motivated and when you naturally add the elements of play and fun.
 
Life is Not a Linear Event
Let’s face it; we don’t live in a linear world. Dynamic athletic endeavors require dynamic training, like multidirectional and explosive drills. You need a routine that incorporates the up, down, side-to-side motion, as well as explosive drills for fast twitch muscle fibers. This type of training not only works your muscles, it forces the rest of your body to adapt responsively or you’ll fall on your face. It’s also great way to reduce injury to muscles, ligaments and joints, and its fun.
 
Body Mind Connection
Working with the outdoor terrain aids in the development of kinesthetic awareness--the type of training that teaches your mind and your muscles to work together as a team. Your body learns to respond to changes in the environment, like wet roots and unstable ground, and adapts to weather conditions, such as, rain, wind, heat and cold. Your brain needs a workout too, and by paying attention to where your feet are treading and what your hands are touching keeps your mind sharp and your body balanced.
 
What about those cold, wet days? Welcome it heartily; the changes in climate add to the different textures, colors and stimuli in the environment, making for a more challenging and satisfying training session. There’s no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing.
 
How to Get Started
You could join an outdoor fitness program like Outdoor Fitness, in Marin County, California. Here, rain or shine, clients participate in fitness routines that incorporate strength, agility, balance, aerobic and anaerobic training, plus a good dose of mental focus training. Why mental focus? Because your brain needs a workout too, and by paying attention to where your feet are treading and what your hands are touching keeps your mind engaged and prevents injuries. So, let’s say you can’t find an outdoor program in your area and squeezing in a full body workout a few times a week seems impossible, think again. Because you’re an ambitious multi-tasking go-getter, you can easily accomplish the same cutting-edge results by creating your own outdoor routine without any equipment. The trick is to design a program that delivers as much as possible in 40-60 minutes.
 
Choosing Terrain
Whether you live in the sticks or in midtown Manhattan, there’s always somewhere to train:
Rural:  If you live in a rural area, find a place with a wide variety of terrain—hills and flats, with trees, rocks, and obstacles.
Urban:  For those of you who train in the city, scope out a route with grass, park benches, street posts, stairs and the like.
 
Create Your Workout
Now that you have your location(s) it's time for the workouts. First of all, begin with the basic components of cardio, strength and flexibility, then lace in more elements such as, agility, balance, kinesthetic awareness, and mental focus. Below, you will find links to workouts to help you get moving.
1. Single Site Workout
2. Multi Site Workout
3. Traveling Workout
 
Happy Trails!

 

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