We’ve made it through winter, and while the spring weather hasn’t been playing nice, all the time we can be safe in the knowledge that summer is just around the corner. What better way to celebrate the sunshine, the warmth and the longer days than by getting outdoors.
While the quintessential kiwi summer involves as much relaxing, as activity, many people are keen to maintain or improve their exercise levels and fitness over the summer months. A winning combination? Combining the great outdoors with exercise and trying one of the many options available for activity.
Research over the last few years has shown that exercising outdoors contributes to preventing boredom, and maintaining motivation, and has a ‘feel good’ aspect to it, with participants enjoying nature while getting that endorphin kick.
The easiest way to get moving is to don a pair of comfy shoes and head to the hill. It’s free, within reach of even city dwellers, and doesn’t require skill or experience (depending on your choice of track). Its important to remember when heading out that you start off easy to make sure you are warmed up, and pack items such as a jacket, water and healthy snacks to keep you going for longer walks.
Many local and regional councils have a section on their websites with local walking and hiking routes so head there is you need inspiration in your area. For those who like more structured exercise options, there is no shortage of programmed choices through local REPs Registered Exercise Professionals and facilities (like me, the first REPS registered PT in Southland).
Small Group Training Often referred to as ‘boot camps’, (although I prefer FITCAMP) small group training in the indoors (and outdoors when the weather is behaving) has a number of benefits. While some will be high intensity with a military style feel, many more are targeted at those newer to exercise or who prefer a more relaxed workout It is important to make sure your session is operated by someone with the right education, has plenty of experience, and who is able to offer you encouragement during and between sessions.
By choosing a small group training session offered by a Registered Exercise Professional like myself, you can be assured your trainer knows their stuff.
Some thing to consider:
- If you are new choose a programme that has ten or less people in it to ensure your trainer can give you the support you need.
- Talk to the trainer prior to signing up to make sure their training style is the right fit for you. Sports Whether you like a casual game and get together, or being part of a more competitive team, there are plenty of options for those who like to combine their exercise with sport.
If you are playing irregularly you will need to make sure you engage in other physical activity to keep up your fitness, to get you game ready and to prevent injury. Many teams have a local gym or exercise facility that they head to for off field work. If your team wants more tailored training, you will be able to hire a trainer to develop a customised session. Divided between players, it can be a cost effective solution and a fantastic way to build a team spirit.
For those with a gym membership who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but keep their membership, check in with your club or trainer. While in the past trainers and classes were always held within the walls of the gym or exercise facility, these days one of those group exercise classes you see in a park are just as likely to be run by an exercise facility. The outdoors and exercise are a great summer combination, so get out there and get active