Spring weather, a little bit of sun, no rain! But to workout outside?
There may be one or more of you asking themselves this question.
My own answer: YES! Absolutely!
I also had a membership in a Gym long time ago. I also think that garage gyms and CrossFit boxes spray a certain appeal.
But going outside to workout is my favourite choice!
Because outside you have not only a huge amount of fresh air. And it’s not my aim to reanimate the ancient debate between ‘gym treadmill runners’ and ‘fresh air joggers’ either. I am talking about the constantly growing community of outdoor fitness enthusiasts. Several outdoor fitness providers seem to give the people something that presents the perfect opposite to their every-day indoor work routine. The effects of functional training are undisputable. Of course there are a lot more possibilities in a gym than outside. But are they really necessary to build up and to keep a basic fitness level? I have never seen someone carrying his barbell to the city forest. And no one would ever carry dumbbells, a gymnastics ball or even the ‘Ab Machine’ to the park.
Why? That is the question I would like to focus on in the following text.
When we look at natural movement we consider 5 fundamental pillars:
- Push (oneself, or sth. away from oneself)
- Pull (oneself, or sth. towards oneself)
- Rotation (all movements of rotation)
- Raising & lowering your center of mass (‘level changes’)
- Locomotion (transfer from A to B)
(after: Tumminello, Nick : the 5 Pillars of functional movement. seen on March 18th, 2014 at: http://nicktumminello.com/2012/04/the-5-pillars-of-functional-movement/)
Because of the fact that movement has taken a back seat in modern western society (some people even succeed in banishing every part of movement), these pillars must be trained regularly.
These pillars are very simple but absolutely fundamental. To train them you don’t need much equipment. So why not move your workout outside? The own bodyweight, a bench, some branches, trunks or stones, and there you go! I can tell from experience that it is absolutely sufficient to reach one’s limits and to push them a bit further. Of course you can use tools like sling trainers, medicine balls, sandbags or a playground additionally. Many trends like Calisthenics and Bootcamps already incorporate this into their workouts.
But to train outside means a lot more to me:
I already mentioned the fresh air. It does not only possess a hughe amount of oxygen but also contains pollen that are a good training impulse for our immune system. In addition, by going outside we consume sunlight (even in winter) which is very important for our organism in order to produce vitamin D. We also expose ourselves to other natural stimuli: raindrops on our skin, cold, warmth, dirt on our hands! Many people don’t have any of those stimuli today. But they are necessary (amongst others) to build a healthy and efficient immune system. Seen from an evolutionary standpoint, it was the same thing: people used to spend most of their time outside. We not only train our muscles when we workout outdoors we train our whole organism.
So if we talk about natural movement we must talk about movement in natural enviroments.
Just try it! It’s not that complicated to use stones, trunks or some handy fitness equipment in the garden, forest or park at any season. Just like the slogan: there’s no bad weather only bad clothing!