Can you feel it in the air? Spring is coming and life is surging back into the trees and grasses and most of us breathe a sigh of relief to see the back of the icy and snowy conditions of late.
It’s about this time of year that we pick up our running shoes and dust them off in order to start pounding the pavements and treadmills again. The usual over indulgence at Christmas and sofa surfing throughout the wintry months as the evenings were cold and short means most of us gain a few pounds that we like to lose around this time of year.
But focusing on weight loss and body shape isn’t necessarily the healthiest or most sustainable way in which we can look after ourselves and very often it is the clients of mine who use sporting events, clubs or games as the motivator who achieve better and longer lasting results. Which of course will result in a better body shape and self confidence.
And with the recent influx of outdoor endurance challenges into the fitness industry there is plenty to choose from. Some of the most popular events that I see people signing up for and training for are things where your metal is tested in a cold muddy rural location where you are required to run between obstacles which are usually themed in some manner around a course order.
What is great about these kinds of events is that they work the entire body in a balanced and natural way. You will be required to pull yourself over walls and drag yourself under netting; you often have to swim and run not to mention lift heavy objects.
All of these actions recruit multiple muscles simultaneously, this is exactly what happens as we put our bodies through the daily rigours of life, and it is exactly how it is designed to function. Which means that both training for and competing in these events produces a lovely balanced musculature and good level of cardiovascular fitness.
Which if combined with a healthy eating plan can shift the pounds much more comprehensively than pounding the tarmac track or pumping weights in a gym.
The other advantage of training like this is that it can be a social occasion, entering events with friends and meeting up at an assault course in a park once a week to train together or going for a swim together can be fun! Enjoying exercise is a really great way to ensure you won’t fall off the wagon.
Combined with the endorphins from exercise anyway you will notice the psychology of play and practice together can be highly addictive and utterly rewarding.
Kirstin Ahmed is a personal trainer at brightonfit.co.uk who has a passion for educating her clients about body mechanics.