When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, monotonous routines can lead to you not wanting to work out and, instead, you may be filled with excuses as to why you’re not heading to the gym again. For many, their New Year’s resolutions will have been centred around improving both their physical and mental wellbeing, perhaps utilising exercise as a way of doing this.
One of the best ways to encourage yourself to work out is to find the exercises that work best for you. If you find the treadmill daunting or don’t feel confident enough to tackle the leg press at the gym just yet, you can feel disheartened and your progress hindered as a result. With this in mind, why not try something new?
Not only does exercising outside mean that you can reap the benefits of fresh air, but it also makes your bank balance happy as you’re not forking out for expensive gym memberships only to go unused. From running and cycling to trying a boot camp, there are myriad options to get you started. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below.
Running is one of the simplest ways to ensure that you’re getting your recommended daily exercise quota in. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, which equates to 20-30 minutes per day. However, it also comes with a host of other benefits, from increasing your happiness to providing your immune system with a boost, something that can be much needed during the colder winter months.
Running is also a fantastic option if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. Keeping your heart pumping, it may also give you a leaner appearance if you’re maintaining a calorie deficit. Of course, if you are a beginner it is important that you start out simple and don’t attempt long distances without prior training. Alternate between running and walking, as the change in pace will make each run more enjoyable and allow you to maintain a steady heart rate.
When starting out, schedule your runs for several times a week, giving your body a day or two in between to recover, as having rest days will allow your muscles to repair and will reduce your chance of injury. Websites such as Map My Run allow you to outline a route before setting off, informing you of the distance and the difficulty. Plus, you can view routes that have been made by other people in the area. Additionally, tracking devices such as the MilestonePod that attaches to your shoes can help you to analyse your performance data and health metrics.
Boot camps are a fantastic option if you’re looking for exercises that impact every part of the body. Completed in a circuit, you are given a series of exercises to do within an allotted time, with the aim to complete as many reps as possible. There are a number of different boot camps across the country for all abilities, from beginner classes to help you to improve your cardiovascular health to advanced groups that push the boundaries.
If you find that you’re looking for a bit of motivation when working out, a boot camp may be the solution. Each boot camp session will place you in a group of like-minded people who have a similar aim to you, whether that be to lose weight, tone up or improve your strength. With the guidance of a qualified personal trainer, each set of exercises will have been carefully thought out in order to work different compounds of muscle to get the best results.
Not only is cycling a great way of increasing your heart rate, but it allows you to explore the areas surrounding your home. Whether you’re considering picking up the hobby as a greener way of travelling to work or are interested in the increased freedom a bike provides you with, it is an activity that you can take at your own pace.
Cycling clubs are great if you’re looking to socialise with people whilst working out and Cycling Weekly advises that it’s a good sport to pick up if you’re wanting to share your experiences. People of all abilities can meet up and tackle different routes depending on how competent you feel on your bike. As a result of this, cycling is an amazing option for all age groups, especially due to it being low impact, meaning that there is a low level of strain on your joints.
If your current fitness regime isn’t working, then trying something new such as one of the outdoor activities listed above could be really helpful. Whether you immerse yourself in a group class or decide to explore the countryside by foot, there is something for everyone!