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Outdoor training that everyone can do

Spring springs, which means it's a wonderful time to go out and get active. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Do you know what was good about being a child? Recess. Every day – sometimes twice! – you would stop what you were doing, go out and run your little legs away just for fun.

Do you know what's good about being an adult? You can still enjoy yourself. Of course, some people call it "training", and many of us back off from the thought itself. But at the end of the day, whether you go for a walk or a jog, or participate in any sporting activity with friends, you are out, taking in fresh air and moving your body. Looks? Recess. (And if you work from home, you can even sneak in "recesses" between Zoom calls.)

Maybe you are not convinced, and the fact that so many of us do not get enough regular, outdoor exercise, suggests that you are not. That's why we talked to a personal trainer about different ways to get out and get active this spring, from an outdoor class to hacking a swing set and even talking to your mom. All in the name of training. We mean … immersion.

Oh, and before we begin, a reminder (as if you needed one) that 13 months have passed. Chances are you have not been out and given as much daily exercise as your body likes to keep fit. If it sounds familiar – or if you just have not done much of this exercise outdoors since your first days off – start slowly. "The difference between beginner and experienced training is not about doing radically different activities," says personal trainer Sarah Revenig of New York's Soho Strength Lab. "It's about intensity and durability – that's what takes it from beginner to expert."

With this is the case, "With a new exercise, introduce it slowly. Dab a little and then slowly build up your tolerance and volume. If you have not done any form of exercise outdoors or indoors all winter, instead of going out on an hour of high-intensity training, try a 15- or 20-minute workout and see how it goes. "Here is what she recommends.

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If walking can be classified as an Olympic sport, it can certainly be considered as training for people of all fitness levels. "Everyone, no matter what they do for work, is exponentially spending more time sitting now – we've all been in so much," Revenig said. "Taking a brisk walk has lots of health benefits and studies have shown that brisk walking can help with lower back pain," which of course is something more of us experience thanks to all the sitting. "Walking can be for anyone in any condition," she adds. "It's a great way to start if you've not done anything all winter and it's a nice way to supplement for people who like to go really hard with their other workouts outdoors."


Think about what goes with a purpose (that purpose is to enjoy nature while getting in shape). Although you should hike less fast than you walk (because you want to stop and smell the flowers and avoid tripping along the way), the more challenging nature of a hike – hills, uneven terrain – means that it helps to strengthen your core and many of the muscles in the lower body. You will burn calories, tighten your muscles and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.


Just because you train in an outdoor room does not mean that you need to find out all the details (including motivation) on your own. Many gyms may still be closed and / or appealing thanks to Covid, but as Revenig says, if you live in a city, “there are outdoor classes everywhere, especially the parks. If there are no lessons where you are, you can follow one of the training apps. Experienced gym rats should be able to find the HIT (high-intensity training) lessons they have been missing. And for beginners, Revenig suggests a "basic bodyweight-based strength training class" so you can develop good shape. And once you have it and are ready to go alone …

Strength Training

"Stretching, lunging, squats, push-ups – all of these things can be done outdoors," says Revenig. When you need to add resistance, "a single kettlebell can work wonders," she says. When you train strength, you can also make the park your gym. "You can use a park bench for push-ups or step-ups, and a swing set for pull-ups," she states. While Revenig did not suggest using fallen tree branches for timber berries, we will note that it worked for Rocky Balboa.


Of course the park is good for running, but surprisingly it is a small garden as well. if it has a smooth surface. "Sprinting is really beneficial, it builds fast muscles and it can be a lot of fun. You can start doing it in a small space and eventually take it to a larger outdoor field area and let it tear down, Revenig says. “Speed ​​does not just go forward as fast as you can. You can also pull back, move to the side and come back: you do not need much space to make direction changes or exercises at top speed. (If you played organized basketball or football growing up, it may sound familiar.)

Some very basic equipment

If you want to stay or stay in shape, you do not have to recreate the gym at home. "I think skipping rope is one of the most underrated equipment," says Revenig. For beginners, it is a really good way to build the right tissue tolerance in the lower legs and feet if they want to get into something more advanced like plyometrics (also known as jumping training). Building tissue tolerance is very important: it is very easy to want to jump into something crazy like a HIT class, but if you are not ready for it, you will do more harm than good. "If you are ready, skipping rope is still useful: 'A more intermediate or advanced athlete can only increase the duration and intensity,'" says Revenig.

She also recommends medicine balls, "the big clumsy balls you see in the gym. Everyone can throw a ball in the ground and it feels great." This is called a "ball slam", and it is good for your physical health, while throwing a ball really hard on something, like a wall or the ground, is really fun and there are ways to make it more complex and demanding for the body, like rotational stability exercises or one-leg exercises for people who are more advanced, "she says. There are dozens of exercises you can do with a medicine ball, and few of them require much space. "If you buy a ball, most adults need one that is 8 to 12 pounds, maybe 6 to 8 for a very light woman," she says. "Do not be fooled by the 20-pound ball – you can do nothing about it."

Go and talk

How about ways to get outdoor activities that are not exactly exercise? Now that so many of us work from home, can we extend "home" to include the park? How about taking your virtual meetings on the go? "I've suggested it to so many of my clients, but it's just not possible because people often need their computers," says Revenig. (Zooming while walking is also a great way to hurt yourself or others.) "What I have found works is to create a regular walk and talk to a friend or family member," she says. It works even when the people you are talking to are not physically close. “I go for a walk and talk to my mother. I'm in New York, she's in Denver, so every Thursday at 9 I turn off my calendar, call her on the phone, and we both go out. “In addition to the training benefits of walking, a walk and chat is also a way to get some social time during this socially challenging time.

Step Challenges

There is another, more direct way to use your phone to promote activity. Says Revenig: “You have a pedometer on your phone: you can get a small group of friends or colleagues together and do a step challenge – see who can get their 10,000 steps every day or what the goal is. Some people are very motivated by itâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; "

Quality not quantity

So what exercise would Revenig recommend for someone who has a short time and is at least somewhat fit?" Choose a lower body activity that is knee-dominant – squat and then lung, or go up on a park bench, "says she. "Do not forget the upper body; you can do pushups there too." Mainly, however, Revenig says that you should "go for quality." When you are in the gym, you probably look at your shape, or you have a trainer who looks at it It's harder to maintain that precision when you've out on your own, but "you get no benefit from being sloppy," she says, "instead of doing 100 squats that look awful," and therefore do not work. our muscles properly, "go to three sets of 10 to 15 bodyweight squats that look good, where you have control, they feel good. Instead of trying to get as many sets as possible, go for some good stuff of whatever you can handle. “Whether you do a HIIT workout, an outdoor workout in a gym or a run for a little extra cardio, there are many ways to get a good workout out. Remember that the good weather has just begun: We have time to fit in properly. Recess awaits.

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Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

Our Editorial Policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that is supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to be provided and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

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