Get outdoors now that the nights are lighter!
You’ve been indoors most of the winter and by now the call of lighter nights and warmer weather should be drawing you outside…. You’d be wise to act on that call. Pleasant temperatures and the visual interest of your surroundings can not only motivate you to exercise, but help you enjoy it more.
But what should you do once you get outdoors?
You say walking’s too pedestrian?
Actually, it’s one of the best lifetime sports. It’s easy on the joints, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment and you can burn calories, even though it’s a more modest amount compared to some other activities. Walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week, at a brisk pace (about 4 mph) will help ward off chronic disease. Beyond that, if you’re trying to lose weight, you should try for 60 minutes of walking most days of the week.
Jogging is great for your heart and lungs and it improves your stamina. If you’re trying to lose weight, it can burn calories more quickly than walking.
The key is to start slowly. As a general rule, aim to increase your time or distance by no more than 10% each week.
The reason I make this suggestion is not because the heart and lungs can’t handle it, but the joints and muscles are a little slower to adapt to the stress of vigorous exercise. Too much too soon and you can develop tendinitis or a variety of muscle or joint problems.
Cycling can provide a lifetime of exercise and fitness. You can take the bike on roads or trails along with off-road to experience remote locations in the hills or forests. Along with burning about 400 calories per hour, cycling builds lower body strength while improving balance, coordination and cardiovascular fitness.
The health benefits of playing tennis are often lost when compared to more traditional activities like running or cycling, however, many don’t realise that playing tennis for one hour burns about 600 calories, making it as effective as jogging. And the beauty of tennis is that it challenges your mind and your body. The tactical aspect of the game keeps your mind occupied while your body gets a good workout.
In common with most sports there are health benefits to playing cricket. It can improve endurance, stamina, physical fitness and hand eye-coordination. Cricket also involves short bursts of sprinting and throwing which is good for cardiovascular health. The game is also very good for developing team skills.
Metafit or Bootcamp classes
First of all you’ll feel fantastic after exercising outside. Boot camp-style work is definitely a great form of physical exertion. You’ll improve your cardiovascular ability and by exercising harder (and in the process burn more calories), you’ll build a better physique without feeling like you’ve spent hours doing weights at the gym.
While exercising indoors is valuable, research shows that exercising outside requires more energy, forcing our bodies to get better workouts and burn added calories and fat. Outdoor elements like increased temperature, wind and hills provide a natural resistance and make our bodies work harder and burn more calories……so what are you waiting for??