Itching to get out and move? Fitness legend Matt Roberts has chosen five outdoor workouts that require little or no equipment and can be started by absolute beginners or old hands – right now
NORDIC WALKING is a gentle form of exercise that has been popular in the Nordic countries for some time. It started as a off season training option for cross country skiers and then trickled down to the general public. All you need is a couple of poles. The idea is to build up your speed as you go along and makE sure you use both your arms and legs during the walk. PROS Fresh air, aerobic work CONS Not stressing muscles enough after you have achieved a certain level of fitness Muscle groups worked Arm, legs and core muscles get a solid workout but are not stressed as much as they would during resistance work.
FARTLEK is a Swedish word that means speed play. It’s a form of interval training that can be tailored for everyone because it’s unstructured. You can start by doing as little as 20 minutes of walking and then adding in short intervals of jogging. So, let’s say you walk for one minute and then maybe take 20 jogging steps and slow down again to a walk. Next time take 30 steps and so forth. You decide the speed and length of the intervals. PROS Stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic systems which is great for fitness CONS Difficult to get the right amount of exercise if you have not been training for a while Muscle groups worked Legs, arms and core
BODYWEIGHT CIRCUITS can be a great way of getting fit with no equipment necessary but your own body. Here’s a circuit of exercises to get you started:
- Press ups x 10 repetitions
- Squats x 10 repetitions
- Planks x 20 second hold
- Forward lunges x 12 repetitions (6 per leg)
- Burpees x 12 repetitions
- Glute bridges x 12 repetitions
Perform all six exercises in a row, take some time catch your breath and have some water and then repeat the circuit for a total of three times. As you get fitter you can increase the exercises, and number of repetitions to make it harder. PROS Great for resistance training and toning the muscles CONS None really Muscle groups worked Legs, arms, shoulders, chest, core, and back
BOXING You’ll need a partner, of course and my suggestion would be to go to a boxing fitness class to learn how to properly punch and holding the boxing pads in order to prevent future injuries and maximize the training. Work up to performing a three minute round on the pads but start with one min on then switch and let your partner box for the same time. Starting with 5-6 one minute rounds and build up your stamina until you’re doing two minute rounds on the pads. PROS Great workout that will get you in shape fast CONS Takes time to learn good technique Muscle groups worked back, triceps, chest, legs and core. Watch HTV’s interview with boxing legend Ricky Hatton talking about women and boxing
POWER WALKING is a great alternative if you are not ready for jogging yet. All you need is a pair of good shoes. Try to walk as fast as you can for as long as you can. Start with a 20 minute walk and build up the time to 60 minutes over time. Start walking on flat surface and then add hills to the loop to challenge your muscles. PROS You can do it anywhere and if your diet is good (low-fat, low-sugar with adequate protein) you can lose lots of weight if you do it 4-6 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. CONS You need to supplement with resistance training to get a balanced body and build tone Muscle groups worked legs, arms and core
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