The sun is starting to shine so now is the time to start thinking about taking your exercise outdoors.
Shed the winter layers, bask in some Vitamin D goodness and spring into fitness!
There are many outdoor fitness options and you can work it out alone, with the guidance of a Personal Trainer or in a group as part of a regular training session.
If you prefer to tackle the great outdoors alone then spring is the time to head to one of Australia’s beautiful beaches and get exercising. Ocean swimming is a great work-out as it keeps your heart rate up but takes some impact stress off your body as well as building endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. One my favourite water exercise past-times is surfing – from paddling you build cardiovascular fitness and once up on the board, shoulder, back, legs and core strength.
Switch the pavement for sand running but expect it to be much more challenging terrain so start out with a few shorter runs to let your body to adjust to the deepness of the sand and how it impacts on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles. For your first few sand runs, stick close to the water’s edge where the sand is wet and more hard-packed than higher up on the beach.
Working with a Personal Trainer doesn’t need to be restricted to a gym setting and Personal Trainers usually have their own equipment so you can work out wherever! Develop an outdoors training plan with your Personal Trainer that will best inspire, motivate and help you to achieve your fitness goals. Both parks and beaches are obvious locations but tackling new terrain might be a great option in the warmer months. We are fortunate to have some amazing bush-tracks and national parks that are filled with exercise props along with the equipment of your Personal Trainer to really challenge your training program. Some national parks offer cycling or roller-blading and many have safe swimming locations, so your Personal Trainer can add these activities into your personal exercise plan.
Outdoor group fitness training options are a popular choice in the warmer months – there are now many types of exercise programs from group outdoor Personal Training to boot-camps to classes you would typically see in a gym environment. National organisations like Step into Life Group Outdoor Personal Training offer eight unique fitness programs that are designed for outside exercise and incorporate aspects of gym class work-outs to ensure you get a mix of cardio, resistance and strength. Whether you join a group with a friend or alone, group training is a great social exercise activity as you share your fitness journey with other like-minded people.
Exercising outdoors also keeps your mind of all the exercise you are doing because you will be too busy soaking up the stunning surroundings…so what are you waiting for? Spring into it now!
Christian Cook is the owner/director of ‘Fit4sport NSW ‘ and is the Northern Beaches Campus Director with the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Christian has over 12 years of varied experience as a Fitness Professional and successful fitness business owner. He has competed as an international professional surfer and after retiring from the sport in 2000, looked for a career in the fitness industry. He is a highly skilled Personal Trainer who is passionate about realistic training approaches and concentrates on sport specific training. He still is involved in the surfing community by fitness training professional surfers. A team of trainers work out of the Fit4sport facility with varied sporting backgrounds.