The world is your gym: how to train better outside
Max your training sessions by harnessing the power of nature
We all know that being outside in nature is powerfully positive for body, mind, and mood. So why not use the great outdoors to optimise your healthy lifestyle, by training (or just being active) outside?
5 reasons to train outdoors
Boost your Vitamin D
There are loads of health benefits to being outside, the main one being Vitamin D. Our bodies can only produce Vitamin D from sun exposure, so combine training with sunlight and you have a double-whammy for bone density.
Challenge your body
Training in a gym facility with the same kit can lead to familiarity. Yes, you can increase load, volume, and other training variables. But training outside – with natural objects or on irregular surfaces – will really challenge your body.
True functional training
What’s more functional than getting fit, fast, and strong enough to take on the natural world? By incorporating nature into your workouts you are going right back to the basics of functional training.
Mood and mental wellbeing
Training is always a good mood-booster, but exercising outside in the fresh air under blue skies takes it to another level. Plenty of studies have linked mood, mental wellbeing, and emotional health to spending time in nature doing what you enjoy.
Adapt to your surroundings
Exercising outside will help your body get functionally fit and strong as it adapts to its surroundings: hills and inclines, uneven terrain, odd objects of different sizes will all challenge your body in new ways.
Best types of training to do outside
Walking – fast walking, nature walking, or hiking are all low-impact forms of cardio which boost your NEAT and tap into all the benefits of outdoor activity
Cardio – if you enjoy running or biking, it’s far more enjoyable to do them outdoors than on static kit inside your home gym
Bodyweight workouts – whether you’re doing bodyweight circuits, calisthenics work, or yoga/mobility sessions, take them outside for 10 x the enjoyment
New ways to do functional fitness outside
We’re all about functional fitness at Gravity, so it makes sense that we’d help you find ways to take your functional training outside. Our portable pull up rack was designed for this purpose (hence why it’s portable). Set it up in the garden, the park, on the beach or wherever you want to train.
Stock up on versatile bits of functional kit and you’ll always have an on-the-go workout. How about a jump rope, kettlebell, macebells or Indian clubs? They’re all portable, and lend themselves to a full body conditioning workout in the sunshine.
If you’ve got a playground (or really sturdy trees) nearby, use our gymnastics rings to transform your surroundings into a gymnastics rig ideal for pull ups, muscle ups and other calisthenics moves.
7 ways to make your daily routine more active
Planning a dedicated outdoor workout or cardio session is one thing, but what about ways to spontaneously make your day more active?
Run up that hill
Out for a walk? Got trainers on? Don’t just walk up the hill, sprint up it (admittedly this is easier in a rural setting, but you could do this on the street too)
Use park benches
Park benches are ready-made surfaces for dips, press up variations, step ups and more. Challenge your imagination and get active.
Sprint with the dog
Race your dog across the field. He’ll no doubt win, but you’ll get a quick burst of HIIT and he’ll think it’s fun.
Load up the buggy
Taking the kids out? Use the buggy and their bodyweight as a ready-made sled to push, pull, or sprint with.
Seek out new surfaces
Don’t stick to your same walking routes. Actively look for inclines, declines, and different terrains to challenge your walks.
Add some weight
Stick on a weighted vest and automatically make your walks, runs, or outdoor bodyweight sessions more challenging.
Load and carry
The great outdoors is a treasure trove of odd objects to pick up, carry, throw, drag, and press. Look for logs, rocks, tree stumps, paving slabs and anything you think looks heavy.
Check out our online store for every item of functional fitness kit mentioned in this article, plus loads more. We’ve got everything you need to optimise your outdoor training.
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