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No machines, no mirrors, no worries, not just running
I go to gym 3 times a week, but I also like training outdoors. Running 5km twice a week adds more than just fitness; it also gets me out into the weather and nature.
A little little bit of rain; a hot, sweaty day; wind pushing into your face; a new sandtrap on the trail; a family with a dog that you have to navigate safely past - all make you feel as if you are alive.
But it is not running that will give your fitness a big boost.
Most people outdoors are walking or jogging. There are a few runners, and also, rarely, someone adding in a bit extra - perhaps running up a ramp.
With a little bit of imagination, you can add in some training that will significantly boost your fitness.
It is free pure no-equipment exercise available to everyone.
The best part? It is infinitely variable.
There is one requirement, you best be dressed for a bit of exercise, not just a walk.
Keep this ratio in mind: 10:40:20:20.
You can keep the combination simple - as I describe below - or add in your own variations.
The combination uses three well-known exercises: push-ups, sprints, and lunges. These will do you wonders, especially in addition to your regular walk or run.
I have added in my own quirky variations which will make them more challenging, and also add more value to your fitness. I recommend that you try them.
Feel free to step the pace of the sprinting portion up or down or whatever you can manage. I sprint like a madman; you might be comfortable with a brisk walk.
If you do sprint, you have to have a safe area - sometimes not so easy to find on the trail where I run.
Here's the 10:40:20:20
Here's the set, remember the 10:40:20:20?
Here is one repetition:
For the lunges, if you feel unsteady, hold your arms out from your shoulders to help you balance.
When your balance improves, hold your arms directly in front of your shoulders parallel to the ground. You will find this simple difference makes the exercise much harder. You'll sweat from the coordinated effort of your muscles working to keep you balanced and moving.
Instead of turning back after the sprint, you might want to keep going in the direction of your walk or run. Walk or jog for 100 metres, and then do another repetition.
How many times?
Do four or five repetitions.
There are infinite variations - you could hold a plank instead of the push-ups, you could lie face-down and then jump up and run. You could run further, or run shorter and more intensely.
The variations are all good. All of them will benefit your fitness and add variety to your everyday outdoor walk or run.
The one thing that I would ask you not to leave out is getting up from the ground. That's what wears us out as we get older, and we need to get all those teams of muscles working again.
You'll know what I mean when you have done a few reps.
You might be surprised just how much fitness you can develop by doing this simple exercise set regularly. No machines, no mirrors, no worries!
Enjoy. Let me know how you go, and what variations you add.
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter