Usually I am pretty organised and have my training week laid out ahead of time. I'll plan which days I go boxing, which days I will go to the gym, rough idea of what I will be doing in the gym that day, and which days I will be resting, which days I have to get up early, what i will have to prepare etc...
While we were away I threw all that out. I didn't plan or do any organised exercise (except for 1 kettlebell workout you can find here). I'll admit, it was a little bit hard not having some sort of structure or routine at the start. But I ended up really enjoying it. The days still involved lots of activity, but not planned exercise. It looked a little like this:
Early morning: take the dogs for a long walk on the beach. Maybe run up a few sand dunes, maybe not. Scramble across some rocks, jump into the ocean and have a splash about
Afternoon: more walking on the beach, this time with Meg and Paddy. Sometime spent carrying a 10kg baby through lots of soft sand, or else carrying a pram through soft sand. Race the dogs up some more sand dunes, sprints on the sand, jump in the ocean, try and do a handstand etc...
In between was spent eating and relaxing. I absolutely loved it.
You cant put a price on taking a few days off and getting away from everything. I particularly love the beach and the ocean. I could spend all day walking and swimming on the beach. There is something about the fresh air, sand and salt water that gets me buzzed. Going to the beach and getting some physical activity in can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
1. Injury Prevention
Often when people get injured it is from over doing the same activity. This can be anything from boxing, gym work, football, running, even too much walking. When you over do an activity you are putting your body through repetitive stress. Most of the times this shows itself in your shoulders, elbows or knees. One way of avoiding this is to mix up your activities and the intensity levels. By varying your activities you will be giving your joints a break.
2. Develop A Broader Base Of Fitness
The main components of fitness are:
If you spend most of your time training a specific component, you will improve in that area but lack in others. For example, a power lifter trains for pure strength. They spend the majority of their time training exercises that mostly don’t last over 10 seconds. If they were to try run a 5km they wouldn't get very far. And they don’t need to because their sport doesn't require it. Similarly, a marathon runner isn't going to very strong on the deadlift or barbell squat. They spend most of their time training in endurance spectrum. But for most recreational exercisers it pays to train all the fitness spectrum's. You want to be strong, fast, powerful, agile and have the endurance to keep going. This will help keep you healthy and make all life’s tasks easier.
3. Rest & recovery
If you train regularly in the same types of exercise and at a high intensity, you can find it starts to grind you down and your progress can become stagnant. The fun can be lost and it becomes a chore. Taking a couple of days off or switching up your activities for a few days can work wonders for getting you back on track. You will give your body time to recover and come back stronger than before. It will feel like you have a new lease on life for getting back into training. This is often the time people will hit new Personal Records.
4. Improved Mental Health
Exercise should be fun. It you hate every minute of your chosen activity, you need to switch it up. How long are you going to stick at something you hate doing? Exercise for health is a long term path, not just looking at the next couple of weeks. By mixing up your activities you will keep your exercise fresh and bring the fun back into it. Try something new and learn some new skills, get fit and meet new people along the way.
Getting outdoors and doing some exercise is also a great way of improving mood and increasing positive thinking.
5. Improved Body Composition
If you spend all your time training at endurance activities, such as long distance running, you will be dropping body fat, but not increasing muscle. This lack of muscle gives what people refer to as the "skinny fat" look. By mixing up your training and incorporating some strength training (kettlebells, barbells, dumbells, bodyweight exercises etc...) you will increase your lean muscle mass. Not only will this make you give a great looking body (toned and athletic), but muscle has many other great uses. It asks like armour for your body. If you receive some trauma to your body, you are going to be much better off if you have some muscle covering. It improves BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), so you are burning more calories without even doing anything! And it makes life easier. No more groaning or struggling when carrying your child/suitcase/shopping around
Join us for some Outdoor Group Training in Spotswood or Kensington. This is a sure fire way of mixing up your training and having some fun. Contact me for more information.
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