A PT Provides His Top Tips For Exercising Outside

1. Importance of Exercising Outdoors: Exercising outdoors offers numerous benefits beyond physical fitness, including exposure to natural sunlight for vitamin D synthesis, improved mood and mental well-being, and a greater sense of connection to nature, which can enhance motivation and adherence to an exercise routine.

2. Getting Started and Staying Motivated: To get started with outdoor exercise, I recommend choosing activities that you enjoy and gradually increasing intensity and duration over time. Setting specific, achievable goals and finding a workout buddy or joining outdoor fitness groups can help maintain motivation and accountability.

3. Troubleshooting Common Problems: Common challenges with outdoor exercise include weather-related obstacles, such as rain or extreme heat, as well as safety concerns and lack of access to facilities. Planning ahead, dressing appropriately for the weather, and having alternative indoor workout options can help overcome these challenges.

4. Types of Outdoor Exercise: Try various outdoor activities, including running, cycling, hiking, swimming, outdoor yoga or Pilates, bodyweight workouts in parks, and interval training using natural features like hills or stairs.

5. Exercises for Different Fitness Levels and Ages: Outdoor exercise can be adapted to accommodate individuals of all fitness levels and ages. Beginners can start with brisk walking or gentle hiking, while more advanced individuals can incorporate activities like trail running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

6.  Staying Safe: It’s essential to prioritise safety when exercising outdoors by wearing appropriate footwear and clothing, staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, and being aware of potential hazards like uneven terrain or traffic. Additionally, informing someone of your workout plans and carrying a fully charged phone for emergencies is advisable.

7. Utilising the Natural Environment: Exercising outdoors allows individuals to take advantage of the natural environment by incorporating elements like hills for resistance training, trees for stretching and bodyweight exercises, and open spaces for agility drills or sports.

8.  Use training outdoors as an opportunity to disconnect from electronic devices and immerse in the sensory experience of outdoor exercise, such as feeling the breeze on the skin and listening to the sounds of nature. It’s important to respect natural habitats and leaving no trace can foster environmental stewardship among outdoor enthusiasts.

Credit: Ali Malik, Personal Trainer & Founder of Fit Labs Kensington 

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