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Terrain Training - Steps and Stairs

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.

Trail Running = Bonus Points for Your Body

Think of trail running as road running amplified.
Like all running, trail running increases muscular strength and endurance in your quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes, in addition to giving your heart and lungs a workout. But because the trails serve up an unpredictable, rocky, root-filled terrain of hills, streams and other natural obstacles, trail running improves your proprioception (your sense of balance and where your body is in space). It also taps nearly every muscle from your shoulders on down, and builds strength in your joints. As a result, it provides a challenging whole-body workout.

Should You Trade Your Treadmill for the Trails?

Find out how outdoor exercise measures up to indoor gym workouts -- and then hit the trails!
NOTE: The following is from an interview I did with FITNESS MAGAZINE's Betsy Stephens.
 
Question: "Can I quit the gym this summer and still stay in shape by exercising outside?"

Answer: Absolutely.

My Kickass Workout Weapon of Choice

I just got back to my desk after slipping out for an hour of fun, adventurous butt-kicking (my own). Whenever I have had a little too much fun or strayed away from my healthy lifestyle, I don't fret about it, I take care of it right away (really, I do!). So this morning, after a weekend of catching up with girlfriends, eating and drinking a tad too much, I head for the hills – Nordic Walking Poles in hand.

Nordic skiers are among the fittest athletes on the planet and walking poles are a cross training tool used by competitive Nordic skiers to stay in shape in the off-season. Here are some workout ideas for you...

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