Friday, 16 March 2012 06:29

The joy of training outdoors

I've told you many a time that I require very little to get my workouts accomplished. Minimal equipment (or none at all sometimes), and some space in which to train in - and thats really all I require. In my case, that "space" usually translates into my living room, where I train regularly - that, and in another "spare" room from time to time. And this is great - it ensures I have NO excuses not to train, and if you do the same thing, and follow the same routines as I advocate in Fast and Furious Fitness - YOU too will have no excuses, and will be doing a great service to yourself and your health. 

But, while training in one's living room is great - it can never beat training outdoors in fresh air. Never, ever - and I'll sign my name to that one.

My workout this morning was accomplished mostly outdoors. Sprints, "ape" training (I know, I know), pushups and bodyweight dips - and all this in the neighborhood park. This particular park I go to is quiet at certain times of the day, and has a lot of trees and greenery all around - so I absolutely enjoy training there. And training outdoors makes me enjoy doing the ONE thing that is probably the most important thing to take care of in your workout, and yet, also the most ignored. That one thing is DEEP BREATHING.

Ah, the scent of fresh air in one's lungs when one's recovering from a hard set - can't explain the exhilaration of inhaling pure, fresh air when I'm gasping for breath. Deep breathing works well if your indoors as well, but it gives you a special "buzz" if you do it outdoors in good weather - can't really explain it in words - you'll have to experience it for YOURSELF to find out!

And today's workout brought back some special memories, in particular, memories of a trek through the jungle in the Kumon hills of the Indian Himalayas. Now, this was REAL jungle - not a city park - with plenty of wildlife as well (leopards, monkeys, the occasional tiger - you name it). A real, wild jungle in the hills - and one of the first things I remember there is the intoxicating smell of PINE trees all over the place. Absolutely wonderful; it made one feel as if one had stepped right into a gigantic, natural, air freshener - and believe me on this one -you'll be wanting to breathe that air deeply even if you've never exercised in your life!

Anyway, I did a short trek into one of the jungles, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Isolated, natural surroundings - surrounded just by Mother Nature, and the intoxicating and uplifting smell of PINE in the air. And I remember thinking how nice it would be to actually TRAIN in an area like this.

Just think about it - FRESH, mountain air to breathe - the pine is a bonus. Absolute solitude, so you focus on your workout and your workout alone. Sure, you may have to avoid the curious monkey or two - and you may have a hungry feline (a.k.a. Jim Corbett or Rudyard Kipling) observing you at close distance without you being aware of it, but hey, thats the fun of it all, isn't it?

Jokes aside - my point in telling you all this is that NOTHING beats outdoor training. This obviously doesn't apply to places where there's extreme weather - but if there's not, take every opportunity you have to train outdoors. Preferably somewhere with a lot of greenery and trees around you; someplace where the wind blows gently and the air is fresher than a daisy's scent.   .   .

OK, I don't mean to wax lyrical on this, but you get my point! I'll end here for now - more again tomorrow!

Best regards,


PS: Don't forget to carry your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness with you into the jungle!

PS#2: If you enjoy trekking in jungles, and that sort of thing - then "Man Eaters of Kumaon" by Jim Corbett, the great hunter and outdoors enthusiast is a MUST read for you!

PS #3: And no, I don't endorse hunting of any sort - be it commercial, or for "fun" - except in cases where it's required to "control" the numbers (such as crocodiles in Australia), and neither did Corbett, except when he HAD to. The only shooting I do personally is through a camera, and Corbett was of the same bent of mind. You'll see what I mean when you read the book!