Although this past winter in Toronto was quite mild, it seems we spend at least 2/3 of the year indoors. Late spring, summer and early fall I love to take my clients outdoors into the park to get out of the air-conditioned boxes, enjoy being in nature, catch some sun and fresh air.
You really don’t need a lot of equipment. I’m lucky to live close to a few wonderful parks that have good solid branches for hanging rings and benches for other exercises. However, your own body is the best gym you have (and it’s free) – there are hundreds of exercises you can do simply using your own body weight. When I do use equipment outdoors – above is a snapshot of what I like to bring:
Kettlebell, gym rings, bands, dead-weight medicine ball (not shown), a bench near by and the client themselves. Simple. Efficient.
Gym rings are one of my favorite pieces of equipment. they can be hung virtually anywhere, are inexpensive, and add a new dynamic to your workouts. Progressing various pull ups, dips, push ups and core exercises will have you seeing muscle definition in no time. I was first introduced to them at my CrossFit box and fell in love with them. Mastering these exercises gives you new appreciation for gymnasts!
If you’re ready to try a workout outdoors, be sure to take into consideration the heat factor. You will need to be well hydrated – and I don’t mean drinking a glass of water before the workout… I mean being well hydrated a full 24-48 hours before the workout. Bring a good electrolyte filled sports drink with you, such as activfuel+, to keep you hydrated during the workout.
Ideally you want to workout either early morning or in the late afternoon/early evening to avoid peak heat. Also try to find a shaded area to store your gear and avoid a sunburn.
Lastly, in your first workout, decrease the your normal intensity by about 25% to see how your body reacts to the various elements. A great tool is a simple heart rate monitor to track your body’s response to the heat, exercise load and even your hydration. If your heart rate is abnormally high for the workout that you’re doing, it’s a good sign to slow down or take a break.
Now you’re ready. Enjoy being outdoors!