As much as I love staying in shape, I have little use for gyms. In fact, I have never been a member of a gym. I am even trying to think of the last time I set foot in one with a friend or relative who was a member. I can’t remember.
While gyms can be useful for some people, especially if you need a lot of help and encouragement from a qualified fitness trainer, or like to accurately keep track of how you’re doing with machines, my idea of fitness has always been about outdoor adventure. Very long hikes, running through the woods, climbing steep hills or trees is my idea of fitness. I just don’t think I would be as fit if I were to use treadmills or most other fitness machines.
Without the fresh air, the sun, the elements, the mud, the animals, the unexpected, it just doesn’t feel right to me. Hence, the “wild” in “Wild Juggler”. One of the main purposes of this site is to encourage people to get fit by going into the wild. I hope my blog has been a valuable resource in this regard. Another excellent resource on outdoor fitness is the Outsidehealthandfitness site, run by Steve Stearns. When it comes to outdoor fitness, he does it all!
Whether it is hiking, cycling, skiing, or trail running, his site has some great advice for newbies and seasoned outdoor athletes. His approach to fitness is so similar to my own, though it doesn’t emphasize juggling(it doesn’t exclude it either). I highly recommend his site. He often does product reviews and has an interesting podcast.
It may not just be me, or Steve Stearns, who think outdoor exercise is better; science itself has shown some preliminary support for this idea. According to PenCLAHRC, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, in the study Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review:
This review has shown some promising effects on self-reported mental wellbeing immediately following exercise in nature which are not seen following the same exercise indoors.
This is so not surprising to me. So when in doubt, get out! You don’t need a gym membership to stay in shape. And if you don’t have a park or woods near you, go out anyway, practice Parkour if you can.
If you are in the northern northern hemisphere, the weather is no longer an excuse(not that it ever was a good excuse).