Guest Blog Author: Cathy Starnes
Far too many people associate fitness with the gym and don’t look at alternative methods to stay in shape. If you truly want to work out, there are lots of other ways to do it, including outdoor activities.
Outdoor fitness can be anything from a brisk walk to horse riding, but one aspect they all have in common is that they are far more exciting, and better for the soul than endlessly running on a treadmill. Today, let’s look at different outdoor sports activities, which you can incorporate in your fitness routine.
As the most popular sport in the world, you’re going to have an abundance of sources on how you can incorporate soccer into your fitness agenda. A proper conditioning program covers key elements such as endurance, strength, flexibility and agility, according to Bodybuilding.com.
Endurance is usually developed through walking or jogging, but it’s also important to use interval training as this can yield the best results and replicates an actual soccer game. Varying between low intensity (walking, jogging) and high intensity (running, sprinting) to make it more effective and dynamic.
Strength and conditioning relies mainly on ground-based, functional exercises like lunges and pushups. The former trains your legs using a wide range of motion without difficulty and this is crucial for soccer players. Pushups strengthen the chest muscles, which can aid players in their overall strength.
Power-focused routines, on the other hand, are used to develop agility. Jump squats and push presses are some examples of great exercises. Squats for instance, strengthen the glutes and hamstrings, which aid in fast and explosive movements like pivoting and a sudden change of direction before sprinting. Players do these actions often, which is why these exercises are vital for soccer players. Stretching, both pre and post workout, shouldn’t be neglected as well to improve flexibility and to minimize the risk of injury.
Tennis is another outdoor sport which is an effective method used to stay in shape. Canyon Ranch states the sport involves various movements: forward, backward, sideways and twisting. Internal organs such as the lungs and heart are strengthened as well due to it being very cardio-heavy. This then leads to an overall workout packed into a challenging and enjoyable activity.
There are also numerous drills which are used in tennis lessons that you can add to your exercise routine. These include jump rope, sprint-stops, back sprints and squat jumps.
HORSE RIDING / RACING
Horse riding is much more unique as you have the chance to interact with a majestic animal. But before you can do that, you need to at least get in shape, as horse riding is more demanding on the body than you think. CNN explained how you can be as ‘fit as a jockey’ but you need to start by strengthening your legs and core first. It also has many other benefits, and teaches you self-discipline across a myriad of verticals.
Moreover, there are lots of famous jockeys that have shared the challenges associated with the sport including how they work hard to get or stay in shape. Three-time Champion Jockey and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore frequently shares his insights about riding different horses at various racing events. The veteran rider who contributes columns to Betfair Royal Ascot spoke about how he worked with six steeds in Day Five of the race meeting last year and highlighted that each horse has its own specific method of handling. The only way he succeeded was due to his discipline in terms of diet and exercise, which allowed his body the best possible chance to keep up with the varying demands of riding the horses which were individually distinct. Horse racing places huge importance on posture and core strength which are fundamentals for any new rider. When you learn these key skills it will also have positive results on other aspects of fitness too as these skills can be translated to other workouts.
In terms of motivation, trying something different is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to workout or you can check out these ways to kick yourself into gear. Maybe one of these sports is exactly what you’re looking for to have that drive towards improving your overall wellbeing.