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Summer Workout Hack – Get Out of the Gym & Train Outside!

Summer Workout Hack – Get Out of the Gym & Train Outside!


    Summer is officially here for those of us north of the equator. One of the things I like best about this time of the year is that the warm weather makes it possible lift weights outside, just like the cavemen used to train. I don’t know why, but I always make the most progress when I train outside.

    Benefits Of Training Outside

    Lifting weights in the great outdoors offers many benefits over the gym. Below are the most significant:

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    1. The sun exposure you get can help you get your daily dose of all important vitamin D.
    2. Studies show exercising outside helps improve your mood and increases the odds you’ll stick to your program.
    3. You can do exercises that aren’t as easy to perform in the gym like carries and throws.
    4. It’s more fun and social. Instead of simply getting in and out of the gym as quickly as possible you can easily make an even of your workout where you train hard with a couple of friends and then have a barbecue after.
    5. The fresh air is much more refreshing than the stale air of your gym.

    How It’s Done

    1. Find A Space – All you need to perform your workout is some open space. I prefer grass or sand. Working out on either surface allows you to train barefoot which makes the workout even more fun, and challenging. Try to find a location where you have enough room to perform walks and throws for at least 40 yards. This distance gives you enough space to perform dozens of exercises that cannot be done indoors.

    2. Equip Your ‘Gym’ – I like to keep it simple and take 3-4 kettlebells of varying weights. Other equipment that works great are gymnastic style rings and a sandbag. You can also take dumbbells and barbells with you. Even buckets or a duffel bag filled with sand will enable you to get in a great workout.

    3. Build Your Summer Workout – Working out outdoors really lends itself to total body workouts. I like to make each workout focus on either building muscle, increasing power, or improving my overall strength. In addition to that I make sure the workout helps improve my overall fitness levels too.

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    You can do pretty much any exercise outside that you can in the gym. While this is great, I recommend performing movements that aren’t so easy to do indoors. This includes carries, throws, and sprints. One of my favorite things to do is combine a traditional gym exercise like lunges with something like Farmer’s Walks which aren’t so easily to do inside.

    The Workouts

    Below are a couple of workouts that you can use to get started. The first emphasizes muscle building and power. The second workout is designed to help you lose fat and improve your overall conditioning levels. You can perform these workouts 3-4 times a week. I like to alternate them with a days rest between each.

    Adjust each to meet your fitness levels and goals. If you have been training for a year or so, feel free to add a few sets and rest less between each exercise. Those of you who are just getting into working out should perform them as written or rest longer between movements if necessary.

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    Workout 1 – Muscle & Power

    1. Overhead Kettlebell Throws – Throw the kettlebell overhead as far as possible 10 times. Rest 60 sec between throws.
    2. Push Ups (add a clap between each if you’re advanced) – 5 sets of 5 reps
    3. Squat -& Shoulder Press Combination – 5 sets of 5 reps
    4. Farmer’s Walks – 5 walks, carry the heaviest object possible for 25 yards per walk.

    Workout 2 – Burn Fat Fast

    1. Kettlebell Throws – Throw the kettlebell forward as far as possible for 30-40 yards. Rest and repeat 2-3 times with 60 seconds between sets.
    2. Walking Lunges – Shoulder Press Combination. Perform lunges by walking forward and holding a dumbbell or kettlebell for 25-40 yards. Perform a shoulder press between each lunge.
    3. Waiter Walks – Perform 3-4 walks for 2-3 minutes each while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead in each hand.

    Some other great exercises and drills to do outside include:

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    • Drag weights attached to a rope for 20-40 yards for 3-5 sets.
    • Pull ups or inverted rows on a tree branch.
    • Alternate a strength exercise with sprints. This is a favorite of many Olympic sprinters. An example is to perform a set of squats or push ups for 5-8 reps and then immediately sprint for 20-40 yards. Repeat for 5 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between each.

    Now you have several great ways to not only build muscle and burn fat but get a tan at the same time too. Put your gym membership on hold this summer and give these workouts a try. I guarantee you’ll have more fun than you do in the gym and find that your overall fitness levels soar to new heights.

    (Photo credit: Shot of an Athlete via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2020

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

    You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

    Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

    Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

    An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

    Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

    1. The Paleo Diet

    The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

    The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

    In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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    How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

    The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

    With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

    It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

    Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

    2. Whole30

    The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

    With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

    During the month you are eliminating:

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    • sugar
    • alcohol
    • legumes
    • grains
    • dairy
    • soy

    Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

    At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

    Finding Out How Food Impacts You

    Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

    With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

    This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

    3. The Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

    For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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    With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

    • Fruits & vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes & nuts
    • Replacing butter with olive oil
    • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
    • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
    • Moderate amounts of red wine

    Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

    Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

    With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

    4. The Alkaline Diet

    The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

    The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

    Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

    The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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    People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

    One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

    Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

    There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

    The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

    What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

    The Big Takeaway:

    Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

    Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

    Reference

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