Martha Stewart's Pick for Summer Fitness? Tina Vindum's Outdoor Fitness!
Tina Vindum's Outdoor Fitness featured in Martha Stewart's Whole Living
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Martha Stewart's Whole Living is currently featuring 6-pages of exercises and fitness tips from Tina Vindum's book and Outdoor Fitness program! Below, you'll find tips and exercise ideas from the article.
Got a case of workout burnout? Hit nature's gym.
Exercising in the park or at the beach with challenge your body and mind in new ways, awaken your senses and invigorate your soul. There are plenty of reasons to take your exercise outdoors: fresh air, natural light, scenery, the colors and textures; not to mention a better workout. That's because when you do the same old movement on machines and a flat gym floor, your body figures out how to cut corners and save energy, Vindum says - and you're more likely to hit a plateau. But outside, it's a whole different story. "You recruit more muscle fiber when you're outdoors on uneven terrain because you're using more fine motor skills, like the muscles in your ankles that keep you balanced, and a core that has to work harder for stability. Ant that means you're burning more calories."
Tina calls exercising outside "freestyle fitness" for a reason: There are no rules. It's about simplicity, spontaneity and fun! Here are a few tips to get the most out of your outdoor experience.
1. Warm up - Don't push yourself too hard at first, Vindum says; you'll get stiff fast. Rotate your joints (ankles, wrists, shoulders, hips), take a few deep breaths to get oxygen to your brain and body, and walk for a few minutes to raise your heart rate and warm up your muscles and begin to burn fat.
2. Work larger muscles first - "Do your squats, lunges, or pull-ups earlier," Vindum advises. "Save your abs for the middle to end of your workout, so you don't burn them out. You need them to support you throughout."
3. Tune into your feet - "We're so connected to our hands but our feet have just as many nerve endings," Vindum says. She suggests focusing on feeling the ground through your feet - every little rock or acorn - as you warm up. This will also help prevent tripping.
4. Test your props - Part of the fun of freestyling is using whatever crosses your path. Just remember to test an object or surface first, Vindum says. "Avoid the abandoned playground, the splintery or unhinged benches. And don't go barefoot in sand or grass unless you're very familiar with the area."
5. Take it in - It's one thing to focus on fitness, but don't miss out on all the other pleasures outdoor exercise can bring. "There's really something to the sensory experience - the visuals, the textures, the sounds and smells," Vindum says. "Sanap some pine needles, eucalyptus leaves, or grass and really breathe them in."
More perks of outdoor fitness
Research confirms what we've known all along: An outdoor workout can deliver even more psychological and emotional benefits than pounding the treadmill. Here's some of what you stand to gain by heading outside.
Increased immunity - Japanese studies have shown that a few days in a park or forest (called "forest bathing") can spike anti-cancer proteins called natural killer cells (NK cells), as well as increase white blood cells; an effect that lasted at least 7 days after the excursion.
More Joie de Vivre - Simply being in nature can trigger peak experiences comparable toa a spiritual breakthrough, according to ecopsychologist John Davis, Ph.D., of Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. You may even get a little weepy. Vindum calls it "tears on the trail." "When a client of mine started crying after our workout, she said she didn't know why, " Vindum recalls. "She was just so happy."
Better mental health - A recent British review of studies on the impact of exercising nature shows that a mere five minutes of outdoor activity can have a significant effect on self-esteem.
Simple exercises you can try today
1. Hill Squat - Click for Exercise
2. Triceps dip - Click for Exercise
3. Pull-up - Click for Exercise
4. Tree sit - Click for Exercise
5. Rock-n-balance - Click for Exercise