It’s May 31st and the weather is heating up.
Though I live in England, summer is basically non-existent here. Luckily, we do get a few weeks of sun, so I make sure I utilise it and get to Acton park as often possible.
Aside from the joyful feeling of the beaming sun on your face, being in nature has a whole host of amazing benefits for human beings.
Without getting all airy-fairy, it’s where we are designed to be. Not sitting in an office, inhaling someone’s BO on the tube, or being stuck in traffic jams.
After reading a fascinating book called ‘The Nature Fix’, I became more determined to be in nature a lot more than I previously was.
Just 5 minutes of walking in nature will slow your heart rate, relax your facial muscles, and make you more creative. The more time you spend in nature, the stronger the positive effects.
Some other benefits of being in nature:
- Lower blood pressure
- Stronger immune system
- Less anxiety & depression
- Happier in general
These are real, measurable effects.
While being in nature will improve your life by itself, combining that with exercise enhances the effects even more. If you do it with friends, you’re on to a winning formula.
Growing up, playing football in the summer gave me some of the happiest memories of my life. Catching jokes with friends, playing my favourite sport and being out in the sun – there wasn’t/isn’t much better than that.
I don’t play much football anymore, but when I do link up with my friends to play football in the summer, those good feelings always come flooding back.
Being happy is what this fitness stuff is ultimately about, so why not try to make it as a fun as possible?
I highly recommend getting out in the sun with a friend (or more) and getting some work in when the opportunity is there.
Here are my top three workouts in nature.
1 – Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are one of the most brutally simple and effective forms of exercise you can do.
They will build your quads, hamstrings, glutes and make you lean as a stallion in the process.
I highly recommend them for people who want to look athletic and lean. I promise you, if you do them properly, you will see the fat melt off.
I also recommend them for athletes looking to improve cardio or boost power before a game or competition.
Hill sprints are simple. Run up a hill, walk down, and run up again.
Shorter rest periods = better for getting shredded (as this will release plenty of growth hormone in your body).
Longer rest breaks = more conducive to building explosive strength and power (so probably more of a concern for athletes).
Make sure to warm up THOROUGHLY and always start with low intensity, short distance sprints before trying to get to the longer ones.
Here’s a (very old) video of hill sprints with a couple of friends of mine.
Bonus points if you take your top off and absorb some Vitamin D in the process (Vitamin D levels are a crucial aspect of health).
2 – Circuits
Circuits are another great way to take your workout outside.
When training for a Spartan race a year or so back, a group of us headed to the local park with a kettlebell and sandbag and went to town.
One of the most gruelling workouts I have ever been through was on the top of a mountain in San Diego. All we did was sprint and pick up heavy stones. I slept like a baby that night.
Get creative with your circuits. You really don’t need much equipment at all.
You can mix in sprints, boxing, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, sandbags, and even tree logs (see below). Circuits are great for building muscular endurance and getting cut up for the summer.
Excellent session with @aidansmith3d @smokeytoerag and @obzboxr93. It's good to get out of the confines of a gym and do unconventional training once in a while. Get uncomfortable. The log carries were horrible because not only was it heavy as hell, but it also dug in to our arms as we were walking. But excellent all round exercise for conditioning, core strength, and just mental toughness in general. We also did some sprints during the session too. Feel much fitter than I did just one month ago. #PersonalTraining #Acton #ShepherdsBush #Chiswick #London #KissGyms #Trainer #Training #Progress #Athleticism #AthleticTraining #Athlete #StrengthAndConditioning #Fitness #Fitspo #Exercise #Coach #Power #Speed #Strength #Sports #StrengthPunishes #SpeedKills #Fitness #LogCarries #Burpees #PullUps
Whatever equipment you use, make sure you bring a mentality of hard work.
3 – (BONUS) Beach activities
This is only a bonus because we live in England and beaches are few and far between.
But golden sand, clear blue water, sun and good vibes.. need I say more?
Going for a light swim, run, or even playing volleyball will have you feeling good! Plus you’ll get a nice pump you can walk around with after 😎.
And boom, that’s all for this one. Don’t overthink things, just get outside and do something. I promise you’ll feel good (once you’ve showered).
Please feel free to message me with any questions or comments.