Embrace the Outdoors

Steve Halsall

by Steve Halsall

A Celebrity Personal Trainer

Spring has sprung and a mild sense of panic is drifting thorough most people as they come to terms with not going to the gym or working out enough over winter.

I’d say that this time of year inspires more people into action than the traditional New Year resolution brigade who always start and fail every year. We are firmly in a time of austerity and the idea of watching £80 per month slip down the pan via a gym membership has sent record numbers outdoors in pursuit of the body beautiful. I’m all for people getting outdoors but like any exercise intention both progression and intensity need to be part of the process. It was Jung who said ‘nature is the greatest healer’ and as long as you are consistent with your training outdoors you may never look back in the smelly gym again and feel amazing by being outdoors. No matter what your level, as long as you put your mind to it you will no doubt be a success.

Thanks to Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins and co, road cycling is booming. Throw in the continued success of GB triathletes and you have two outdoor pursuits that will not only last you a life-time but give you a real incentive to be part of something that can ONLY do you good. Now, you don’t have to sign up for an Iron Man to kick yourself into shape. For very little money you can have a body like a God but as ever routine and discipline are the foundations of any changing body.

Often when we workout our bodies become accustomed and familiar with the same old exercises that we do week in week out. From experience, the best results have come to those who are prepared to push the limits with intensity and are not afraid of trying something new.

Even if you are a gym user and you are looking to freshen up your workout routine, try the outdoor session below to kick start your training and give your body something to think about. You don’t have to be a gym member to do this, you just need to be able to get out in the park and know basic exercises. You should invest in an exercise resistance band, for not very much money you will be able to work out your whole body at a really good intensity. Any of you who fancy a more advanced workout, get your head around TRX suspension fitness, more expensive but more variety for sure.

What follows is a fantastic outdoor workout. You should work at a high intensity and look to perform the circuit four to five times in one session. I’d also suggest a five minute run (loop) in-between each circuit.

Equipment: Resistance band and a park.

Triceps dips on the side of a bench 15 reps
Biceps curl with resistance band 15 reps
Step-ups on a bench 10 reps each leg
Knees to chest on side on bench 20 reps
Press-ups 15 reps
Lunges 10 each leg
Standing row with resistance band 15 reps
‘Cable’ chops with resistance band 20 each side
Squats 15 reps
Plank 30 seconds

The whole workout will take you about 45 minutes.

In the bigger picture, sign up to an outdoor event, there are many, many to choose from. Running, walking, cycling, triathlons, orienteering, duathlons even long distance open water swimming can be signed up to. From experience, outdoor events are always a place where everyone is in a good mood and generally your kids can do a fun event too. Whatever the urge, keep focused and really enjoy being out side.

Be healthy, be happy and do well.


Steve Halsall

Steve Halsall has worked as a professional trainer for 15 years during which time he has helped 100's of people to make permanent changes. He is a Men's Health magazine celebrity trainer and The Daily Mirror's fitness expert. www.stevehalsall.com
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