The one thing that is most common about all gyms around the world is the expense. People who want to get fit and train have to pay for the privilege, and when it comes to using world-class equipment in an air-conditioned facility, paying for it is correct. However, not everyone out there has the means to pay for a gym membership every month. Arguably, a gym membership is a luxury. As with eating out, you expect to pay for quality, so the more involved the package at your local gym, the more you pay for it. While the bells and whistles of a high-tech gym is exciting and impressive, you need to work your budget before you work your body. The good news here, is that you don’t have to stop working out just because the gym is expensive – no, really, you can’t use it as an excuse. No one needs cash to be able to get as fit as they want to. They don’t need a treadmill or a cross trainer or a set of fancy weights; especially when heavy water bottles or tinned food will do a similar job. What you do need is space to exercise, time to do it and some great workout clothing to help you to do it. The one place you can get the space that you need is so close you’ll be shocked you didn’t think of it yourself.
The summer months are here and for most people this means dry weather is more of a guarantee than freezing cold rain or snow. The call from the fresh air that tempts you outside may be getting louder, and it’s one call that you should really pay attention to. The great temperatures, the changing scenery and the ability to train on any type of terrain from sand to grass and back are all there to motivate you to exercise and help you to feel encouraged to go regularly. Getting outside and breathing in some of that air can prevent you from feeling stagnant inside the house and give you the chance to get out and enjoy yourself. As with being in the gym, you do need to think about avoiding workout injuries before you start a run or a workout.
You should think about how your body moves and tailor your warm up session to include all the movements that you are hoping to make outside. Doing this can make a huge difference to whether you need to sit out due to injury on your knees and your spine. Running is a great sport but the number of runners who, over time, need the services of orthopedic surgeons is high. The wear and tear in the joints caused by running – especially on the pavement outside – can mean that you find yourself in pain. Preventing this by warming up can be the best thing that you do for yourself before you go out and train. When you’re in a gym, you are faced with banks of equipment and numerous fun things to get your hands on. Outside? Well, it can be a little daunting to decide what to do. Thankfully, there are plenty of exercises that you can get on with in the fresh air and sunshine, and we’ve got a list of those for you below:
- Walking. Believe it or not, walking has power behind it. Walking is one of the sports that is accessible to almost everyone out there, regardless of fitness level. It’s wonderfully easy on the joints with an awful lot less pressure than running. All you need to walk your daily steps is a great pair of comfortable shoes to wear, and a bottle of water to keep hydrated. You can burn a good haul of calories, despite the actual workout being modest compared with a jog, but it’s still a valid workout that will get you where you want your fitness to be. Aim for at least thirty minutes of brisk walking a day to get the effects that you want; a raised heart rate and burned calories!
- Running. A slight step up from the walking, a good, hard run is a brilliant way to work out and you can really push yourself with your terrain choices outside. Instead of ramping up the incline in an air-conditioned gym, you get to choose actual hills with grassy verges and dunes to run up. You can improve your stamina and help your heart to get to optimum health, all with a good running program to follow.
- Cycling. Don’t worry if being on foot isn’t your thing. The investment of a sturdy bike, a helmet and some hi-vis clothing are what you want to be successful in your cycling efforts. You get the chance to explore your local neighbourhood, discover new areas in the community and ramp up that heartrate all at the same time. Go to a professional bike fitter before you buy, though. You want the bike to fit your body and your comfort; there’s no use pushing your body to cycle when you’re uncomfortable doing it.
- Swimming. Technically, this is usually an indoor activity. However, plenty of spas and parks have swimming facilities for a small fee. You could mix up your walking and running routines with the occasional swim, giving your joints a rest from all the impact that the running and walking can have on them. If you’ve got a local beach and you’re confident in the water, just head to the ocean edge on the safe beaches in your locality; you won’t be disappointed by the refreshing waves on your skin – and it’s free!
Working out outside doesn’t have to be a huge chore, and you can have your workout wherever you are in the world, too. Getting fit from couch potato to athlete is a work in progress, and all you have to do is put in the time and the effort to be successful.