Why You Should Ditch The Gym This Winter
A few years ago I used to only run, all year round, outdoors. On snow and ice, rain and heat. The last few years have witnessed a massive shift in my training methods, my fitness in general and my coaching style and philosophy.
I am talking about a different type of fitness. I am talking about fitness that, besides getting you really fit, it also teaches you many, many lessons, about yourself, your body and it give you the chance to reflect.
So why am is so set on outdoors training? Here are a few reasons that might convince you that training outdoors is one of the best decisions you would ever make, and training outdoors in winter:
Different kind of fitness
A couple of months ago I pulled a muscle. I’ve been through it before so I know how a pulled muscle, and even pulled tendon, feels like.
A pulled muscle takes weeks to heal. I was shocked at how fast my body heals these days. In 3-4 days I could walk without limping and within 1n week I was recovered and ready to get back to my training routine as usual.
Now this is the kind of fitness I am talking about. For me and my clients fitness now means: cardiovascular and strength (including weight training) BUT it also means:
– training the body from all different angles; terrain is never the same, you never o the same exercise, every time you place your foot or hand on the ground muscles work in a slightly different way, strengthening from many different angles
– get the body prepared to withstand and recover faster from things such as sprains, pulled muscles
– increasing the body’s natural healing abilities
– understanding the basics of biomechanics, just enough to understand why some things are good for the body and some are not
And these are only some of the benefits of training outdoors. You can learn these in the gym as well. But nothing compares with the diverse, wavy terrain, when you walk and run. It teaches you a lot about your body.
But what does this have to do with winter? This leads me to the next point:
Challenge your body
Winter is not comfortable. It pushes you out of your comfort zone in many different ways.
First there is the physical as in cardiovascular and strength. Training in harsh conditions takes a lot, a lot of energy. Maybe it will not make you sweat but you WILL work really hard.
Second, is at the mind level. Waking up at 5 am and going out there on rain or snow is not easy and it is not for the faint of heart, as the saying goes. The reality is that this is not for everyone.
Don’t get me wrong. Absolutely ANYONE can do this, except the people who want to be comfortable in a warm, and nice environment such as the gym or their house.
The mental strength, the dedication to your outdoors winter training will impact absolutely ALL areas of your life. Period. All of them: social, work, business, self esteem and self confidence, they way you present in front of audiences and so on.
Third. The unwavering spirit. THIS is the substance. The elements that we cannot easily see. Honestly I find it difficult to explain how outdoors winter training conditions the spirit. It’s such a deep and complex concept.
Meditation, while we do it, it’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about the spirit of a warrior. That’s the only way I can describe it.
What I can say is that outdoors winter training is the most important element in my life and that changed everything. The way I interact with people, they way I see and love myself, my self confidence, my ability to stand up for myself.
It changed the very essence I am made of. Sounds weird right? There is no other way I can explain it really.
BUT, there is a catch. Do the same exercises you do in the gym and the magic disappears. The trick is to adapt your training to the outdoors and do things in a different way, and not in the comfortable way. This is the topic of the next blog.
Bottom line. Outdoors winter training will condition your body, your mind and your spirit to a level you have never experienced before. This was my experience after training indoors for many, many years.
This winter push your boundaries. Contact me for more information on how to start your winter training program