Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gym in a bag. Taking your workout outside.

I often tell my clients that they don't need a gym membership to get in shape. With a few simple tools, you can workout anywhere. Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, you can experience a fantastic workout while enjoying the changing seasons.

Late summer and early fall are, in my opinion, the best seasons for outdoor workouts. It's not too hot, not too cold and very beautiful. Many neighborhood parks offer fitness courses complete with circuit training stations. It's an easy way to focus on body weight exercises (bench dips, pull-ups, squats) combined with sprints mixed in between sets for cardio. This type of routine is handy if you want to have a spur of the moment workout or you would rather leave your workout equipment at home.

For a more intense routine, you can pack a "gym in a bag" to take along with you. For clients who want to want a change of scenery or a breath of fresh air in their workouts, I pack everything I need for a complete integrated training program into one backpack:
  • Foam roll
  • Yoga mat
  • 55 cm stability ball (deflated)
  • 45 cm stability ball (deflated)
  • Hand or foot pump for stability balls
  • Set of 10 pound free weights
  • Set of 5 pound free weights
  • Jump rope
While the backpack may weigh 30 pounds (which makes for a great warm-up and burns extra calories) you can achieve the same accelerated results that you would expect from a typical gym workout.

Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut while in the gym and moving your routine outside can also jump start your motivation. Creating variety in the routine and in the workout environment as well, can really add that extra "something" making exercise a lot less boring.

So get out there while you can and get a great workout in the great outdoors!