As it nears the Australian summer season, the opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather by exercising outdoors presents itself. There’s boundless exercises to perform; whether it be running, swimming or cycling – and the extra hit of Vitamin E makes it all the merrier! The tip is in finding an exercise which isn’t only beneficial to your overall fitness – but one you enjoy as well. Today’s post focuses upon taking advantage of the warm summer days that are nearing, and taking your workout routine to a new level!
1 – Swimming: Who doesn’t love to swim during the summer months? It’s refreshing, relaxing and increases both aerobic and anaerobic fitness capabilities. It promotes cardiovascular improvement, and helps to activate leg, core and arm muscle fibers. A perfect exercise for those with joint problems, as the water enables them to have a far greater degree of mobility. Swimming helps decrease the chances of diabetes and reduces stress levels significantly. We’d recommend swimming at the local outdoor pool as opposed to a lake or the ocean.
2 – Kayaking: Whilst kayaking is primarily focused on the upper portion of the body, it also plays a part in the strengthening of the back, core and stomach muscles. For beginners, there is a number of rental services available in which you are taught paddling techniques, as well as entering and removing the boat from the water. Focus should be on your core, shoulders and back whilst performing the exercise. Whilst this activity is relatively expensive, it’s an excellent aid for bettering your flexibility and strengthening the upper body.
3 – Walking: In comparison to jogging and resistance training, walking places considerably less stress on joints – however, burns significantly less calories. A brisk 30 minute walk is now recommended, most days of the week – which will assist in warding off chronic cardiovascular disease. Whilst it’s difficult to find time to consistently walk for 60-90 minutes, the trick is in incorporating walking into your daily life. Simple errands such as driving to the shop, or picking the kids up by car can be replaced (within reason) by brisk walking.
4 – Jogging/Running – Jogging improves stamina and is excellent for both your heart and lungs – the adoption of interval training can burn significantly more calories than walking. Running places greater stress on the hips, ankles and knees, however. Begin slowly, and keep your body guessing – perform the exercise at a higher intensity each week to maximise results. Whilst the heart and lungs of most people can handle the increment in intensity, the joints and muscles are slower to adapt – and need to be eased into exercise to avoid injury. Joint problems such as tendonitis are common in individuals who have neglected fitness over a prolonged period of time and have begun an immediate routine, or in those who do not ease into their new workout routine.
5 – Cycling – Bicycling offers the opportunity to explore the local neighborhood, parks and bike trails whilst getting your daily fix of cardiovascular exercise in. It offers an excellent alternative to taking a car to work, particularly if you are in close proximity. Cycling targets the lower body primarily, both the quadriceps, calves and hamstrings. Lifespan Australia has you covered for all your biking needs, check out our exercise bikes and spin bikes (if you prefer to workout indoors).
6 – Hiking – I have a love-hate relationship with hiking. Whilst I’m hiking, I HATE it, I despise it. However, when it’s all said and done, I look back on the experience I show nothing but love and praise for it – perhaps it’s because I’ve only ever done high intensity hiking. It works the lower body considerably, however, greatly increases your stamina and cardiovascular capabilities. It requires preparation and thorough knowledge of the tracks you are set to embark on – tackling a track with a mate is recommended. As well as a physical battle, it also challenges the mind – and the satisfaction of completing a difficult trek makes it all the more worth it. Ensure you have at the very least essential hiking equipment at your disposal.
If exercising in the sun, take recommended precautions – apply suncreen, stay hydrated, replenish your electrolyte and salt levels as well as listening to your body (if you’re feeling dizzy or nauseous, stop).