I am a child of the summer. It is those warm sunny months that motivate and fuel me. Before I became a personal trainer I absolutely refused to carry a gym membership during the months of summer and the only reason I held one after was because one huge perk of being a personal trainer is that gyms love to let you in for free. (or at least that was my experience, even when I worked for myself) I know some people cringe when they hear that, thinking, you must use weights, and blah blah blah.
I have no real desire to bulk up, my goals are only to keep my muscles challenged and keep my body moving. This is part of why the outdoor avenue has always been good for me during the summer. This may not hold true for someone with different goals, but for me, it has never done me wrong.
Here are some simple ways you can enjoy the outdoors while keeping your body in peak condition:
- Kids – Got them? If you do, play with them. Are they in sports? Even better, practice with them. My kids always marvel at my acrobatics at the jungle gym and inner child as I let go of my need to look “grown up” and go off and frolic with them.
Don’t have kids? Who cares! There is no rule saying that you have to be under a certain age to enjoy a good romp at a park! There have been many times I have taken my clients to out door playgrounds and ran them through challenging sessions outdoors. Have fun, you have one life, don’t waste it!
- Outdoor Fitness Areas – Find out if they are available in your area. Here is one that is local to me and it isn’t your 5 star health club, but it’s pretty awesome if you want an enjoyable outdoor experience.
- Yard Work – If you are groaning right now, you aren’t alone. My whole attitude towards physical outdoor tasks has changed in the past decade. Instead of looking at it as a dreaded “to-do”, see it as an opportunity to focus on the muscle groups you are activating. Notice where those lifting techniques you’ve used in the gym really do have their place in day to day life. Watch your form. Your muscles don’t know it’s a rake you are pulling and not a cable cord with weights on the end.
- Walking and Running – This sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes it helps to reiterate it. Have a friend that you never seem to have time to get together? Double win, set walking dates to catch up. I’d much rather go on a walk with friends than sit at a coffee house any day.
- TRX – One of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. It is teeny tiny portable and can be used just about anywhere. You can hook it on to a sturdy tree, a basketball hoop assembly, or a jungle gym (I’ve done it all!). On a side note, it is super important to use proper form and know how to use it properly since it is such a versatile piece of equipment.
Take these and add in any other outdoor activities you love (like biking, rollerblading, swimming, pogo sticking) and you’ll be moving until the snowflakes start coming down!
For more ways to stay active and healthy over the holiday season (and some extra accountability), you are more than welcome to join Naturally Healthy Holidays. As there is power in numbers and it is a time of year that many of us struggle to stay on track. It starts November 20th and runs until January 1st.
What are your favorite ways to stay active outdoors? Share in the comments below
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