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OUTDOOR SPORTS: THE MOST EFFECTIVE KIND OF EXERCISE 

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The most recent data about the alarming rise of obesity and the overweight in Spain shows an ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle among society. According to the latest National Health Survey, around 40 percent of Spaniards do not do any kind of physical activity in their free time. One explanation is the busy lifestyle we lead, in which the stress of work and taking care of our families takes time away from caring for ourselves. However, this data is also linked to our diet, and the number of over-processed foods that we consume, as they are often cheaper.

It’s a vicious circle in which many people think that they aren’t apt to play sports, and think that it’s only for people who already are in good physical condition. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone can quit living a sedentary lifestyle, all you need to do is adjust the activity you wish to do to your current physical abilities. Gradually as you start to incorporate physical activity into your day-to-day you will be able to adjust the intensity, level, and kind of activities that you’re able to do.

At a time like this where you can’t even step foot in a gym, exercising is easier than ever: you just have to go outside and do sports outdoors. We suggest these very simple exercises so that you can adapt the number of repetitions and the time to suit your needs. Remember to always increase the level so that the muscles do not get used to the same exact exercise.

First Step: Start with a Quick Walk and Become a Runner 

You should always add some cardio into your outdoor work routine so you don’t fall into the habit of just focusing on your muscles. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean you need to start running a 10k every day.  Just get out of a sedentary routine with a fast walk wherever you can. Half an hour at a brisk pace is very beneficial to our health. Not only will you burn some excesses, but you will improve your cardiovascular and brain health. The best thing about including a little cardio in your routine is that you will immediately notice how your mood improves.

If you’ve decided to start small, once you get used to that brisk 30-minute walk switch it up and try jogging a little. Run in 10-minute parts, changing up your speed, it’s much easier than it seems. And, if you’re already a professional runner, remember that it is always good to take on new challenges: go further, go faster, change your pace, etc… 

Change Of Pace: Look For A Hill

Even people who are used to doing more physical activity don’t feel comfortable going out for a run. Running on the ground isn’t the same as a treadmill at the gym, or sometimes people just prefer to do another form of cardio either on the bike or elliptical.  A good solution to forget about simply going on a run, it to change up the pace and intensity of running by finding a hill. This takes up less time, and many people find it to be a good alternative as they see running down the street as boring. This is about running fast up the slope and walking down it several times. Tiredness is much more bearable if you think of it like running a race and challenge yourself to climb up it again. The good thing about this routine is that, when you climb the hill fast enough, you will notice that you can endure more and more, and perhaps you will be encouraged to try running for longer at a regular pace. 

Look around: Do you see any stairs?

Since we’re only able to workout outdoors it’s important to take advantage of our surroundings. You can probably find some stairs around your house. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of stairs 10-15 is plenty.  This exercise is great to strengthen your leg muscles and glutes and increase your endurance. You can race going up and down them (carefully of course). If you don’t feel comfortable sprinting up and down you can always do it a slower pace. Do as many reps are you can. Don’t forget to lift your knees to really take advantage of this workout! 

Get Back To Nature and Do Some Planks

Some of us have been stuck at home without a mat, or enough space to do some of the exercises we would like to. Now is the time to maximize your daily rec time while the weather is good take advantage of the sunshine and do some exercise in the park. Get on the grass and do some planks. This is one of the most complete exercises you can do as it works all the muscle groups

It’s especially useful for the abdomen, buttocks, and legs. You can try several ways: the most common is to support the weight of your body on your forearms and toes or using your hands as support. Start with sets of 20 seconds, and you will notice how you can endure for longer and longer. The best thing is that you will notice the results quickly.

Benches Aren’t Just For Sitting 

In almost every street in Spain, you can find some kind of bench either wooden or cement. While still always following the hygienic measures that have been put into place, it can be a useful tool for you to do some very simple exercises. One of the easiest is to sit up straight and raise and lower your leg at seating height. Thanks to the height of the bench, this is a great exercise for your glutes, legs, and abs. If this seems too easy, do it faster or include some jumps to your routine. You can also use the bench as a support to do push-ups, and thus tone your arms. Try different exercises resting your arms on both the front and back of the bench.

Main Squares and Lookout Points, Ideal For Squats 

Squats are easy to do and work out a good portion of the body. The problem is that sometimes doing these wears us out quickly or we simply don’t have enough space in the house or gym to do them. But, that’s easily solved when doing sports outdoors. The best thing is to find a lookout point or square that you can cross, but that isn’t too long. That way you won’t be overwhelmed as your goal is to do the same number of squats for each leg. Remember to always give yourself some kind of rules/goals when doing each exercise, this makes it easier to finish what you started, rather than not having a concrete end. 

Burpees, Jumps, and Jumping Jacks…Take Advantage Of Your Space

Undoubtedly, certain exercises are easier done outside than at home. Not only because of the lack of space but also for those living in flats you might not want to make too much noise and disturb your neighbors. That’s why your outdoor time is ideal for doing exactly these kinds of exercises. If you think your ready start by doing some burpees which are a combination of planking, squats and jumping, a full workout. For something a bit easier, try some jumping jacks. And if not, stick with a classic jump in the air as high as you can. 

If you enjoyed these outdoor exercises and decided to try one or all of them, check out our recommendation of super energizing snacks to have before our after your work out:

Healthy Snacks: Seed Crackers, Kale & Parmesan Chips, Beetroot Hummus 

The Snacks of Champions: Energy Bars, Veggie Pancakes, Oatmeal, and Fruit Cookies 

Banana, Cacao and Peanut Butter Smoothie

Gluten-Free Seed and Parmesan Toast 

Granola and Red Fruit Mini-Tarts

 

 

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