Change It Up

5 ways to change up your fitness routine this summer

Get outdoors while you can, writes personal trainer David Last

IRELAND HAS BEEN experiencing a relatively dry and sunny summer to date and we should be taking advantage of it as much as we can.

In last week’s piece I gave you 4 tips for keeping on top of your fitness goals while on holiday and the feedback was great.

Changing up your venue and bringing your routine outside, while getting a nice dose of vitamin D, can only lead to good things.

I’ve always been a huge fan of bringing training outdoors and there’s no reason why you can’t too.

We spend enough time indoors in the gym so why not change up your routine a little and use the fitness that you have worked on by doing some activities outside? The key is to keep it varied, fun and effective.

You will be surprised what is out there and what you can do. The options are endless and below I have included advice and ideas for training outdoors.

1. Group workout/bootcamp

There are some excellent group-based sessions dotted around the country in our parks.

It may take a few attempts to find the right trainer and session for you but remember the main focus should be technique, consistency and intensity.

I’m a big fan of group-based training as it can be fun, varied and a nice change from the clammy gym floor.

The biggest positive from training in a group is the accountability factor and generally getting together with people who have similar interests.

I was training this gang (above) at my local park over the weekend which was part of the Gym Plus Coffee 10-week summer stretch series.

They are doing 10 weeks of free workouts on Sunday mornings; it’s a great way to start the day.

2. Park run/trail run

With the longer and brighter evenings, now is the time to get out for a run.

If you are eyeing up the Dublin marathon in October, or something else in between, you should be taking advantage of the weather.

If you need to track your distances and log your workouts you can invest in a good sports watch or download one of the many fitness apps out there.

Trail runs, park runs … there are plenty of options out there.

Park Run events are dotted around the country each weekend and are a great tool for working on your 5k time.

3. Yoga

Yoga is incredibly popular these days and this was seen by the droves of people at WellFest, Dublin’s health and fitness expo, in May.

Since bringing yoga into my weekly training schedule I have seen so many benefits, from physical to mental fitness.

A lot of the time we think high-intensity workouts with a bootcamp approach are the best for achieving fitness goals but I would argue that slowing down and focusing on your mobility and head-space is just as important, if not even more so.

4. Outdoor workout

Since starting this column I have talked you through different types of training sessions.

One of the most popular options is training in the park with a limited amount of equipment.

You don’t need fancy equipment for workouts to be effective. Nowadays many parks have basic tools like pull-up and dip bars, making it even easier to put a tough workout together.

On top of that, having something basic like a suspension trainer, jump rope or kettlebell is always handy for an outdoor session.

In a previous summer series article I demonstrated full-body outdoor workouts that require minimal equipment but are fast, fun and effective.

5. Mix it up

Bringing something new, different or challenging into your routine is essential for progress.

This summer I started sea swimming and it has been a nice change to my fitness plan.

Doing the same thing over and over again will eventually get boring and can only lead to burnout, fatigue or loss of interest. That was the most common thing I would see when working on the gym floor.

People would join their local gym in January and come the summer they have drifted away as doing the same thing over and over eventually became a chore.

Bring something different into your routine this summer and try to keep it outdoors — anything from sea swimming, mountain biking, hiking, tag rugby or even zip-lining. You can find further inspiration for change in this article I wrote previously.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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