Hey, is that you sweating up a storm on the treadmill? That’s fine if you just want to keep the pounds off and maintain an average level of fitness, but if you want to get truly fit and kick butt at your favorite sports, you’ll need more. Athletic training, serious athletic training—requires rigorous and disciplined physical and mental preparation. If you’re serious about your sports and fitness, you’ll need to incorporate strength, multidirectional drills and kinesthetic awareness training; which means, get off the machines and take it outside.
Your Outdoor Gym
You play outside, so why not train outside? It’s a fun, effective and efficient way to blur the lines between working out and spending time outdoors. (Think of it as downsizing). Out there, you must be keenly aware of your surroundings—slick grass, rocks, unstable ground and sudden twists and turns in the terrain. These environmental elements add mental and physical stimulation that you simply cannot duplicate indoors. Being outdoors refreshes your body, mind, and spirit. You feel alive, alert, motivated and when you naturally add the elements of play and fun.
Life is Not a Linear Event
Let’s face it; we don’t live in a linear world. Dynamic athletic endeavors require dynamic training, like multidirectional movement and explosive drills. You need a routine that incorporates the up, down, side-to-side motion, as well as explosive drills for fast twitch muscle fibers. This type of training not only works your muscles, it forces the rest of your body to adapt responsively or you’ll fall on your face. It’s also great way to reduce injury to muscles, ligaments and joints, and its fun.
Body Mind Connection
Working with the outdoor terrain aids in the development of kinesthetic awareness—the type of training that teaches your mind and your muscles to work together as a team. Your body learns to respond to changes in the environment, like wet roots and unstable ground, and adapts to weather conditions, such as, rain, wind, heat and cold. Your brain needs a workout too, and by paying attention to where your feet are treading and what your hands are touching keeps your mind sharp and your body balanced.
What about those cold, wet days? Welcome it heartily; the changes in climate add to the different textures, colors and stimuli in the environment, making for a more challenging and satisfying training session. There’s no such thing as inappropriate weather, only inappropriate clothing.