Getting Fit the Natural Way

In winter months we all find ourselves hiding from the bad weather and inevitably rushing to gyms and studios to keep fit. But what about those sunny days? Should we be ditching the normal routine for more outdoor activities?

One of the big advantages of working out outside is it improves muscles you may have ignored previously. Doing the same exercises week in week out will cause your body to develop in a somewhat restricted way. Introducing new exercises, even if it’s a slight variation of your favourite routine will help develop your muscles and overall fitness much better.

So what kind of variations could you include in your workouts?

For an all-round workout try riding your bike off road. Riding on bumpy ground requires more abdominal strength to stay balanced. You’ll benefit from a full cardio workout as well as your core and balancing muscles strengthening as well. Do this once a week and you’ll soon find those sit-ups and normal cycling much easier.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach then this offers the perfect fitness playground. Running in sand is a lot harder so by including this in your training, you’ll soon find your road running improves. Running in bare feet is also very good as it puts pressure on the natural parts of your foot (which is sometimes compensated when running in trainers). This helps strengthen the small muscles and tendons around your foot. Another great opportunity the beach presents is swimming in the sea. Compared to swimming in a pool, swimming in the sea is a lot more difficult. Currents and waves will mean you have to work a lot harder. Similarly, why not try something like surfing while you’re down at the beach. This involves a high level of cardio work as well as paddling very quickly to give your shoulders and arms a big workout too.

Another alternative is to head for the hills. Hiking is a great activity for all round fitness. Trekking up steep hillsides will give your legs a big workout and will help complement those heavy squats you do in the gym.

Adopting new workouts and exercises is something that can help everyone improve their overall fitness. By introducing these kinds of activities, you’ll notice that your gym workouts improve as well. Strengthening smaller muscles is vital for progressing and increasing muscle strength. Using modern technology, such as fitness apps, can also be very beneficial. By tracking your progress and seeing how many calories you burnt or steps you made during your workout, it’ll soon become clear how to refine and target your workouts to your advantage.