The basics of outdoor fitness:

Hello and welcome to the first entry into my weekly blog. Over the coming weeks I will be covering everything about being fit and being outdoors. We will be diving into the world of strength and conditioning. Recovery. Nutrition and even ways to enjoy the weather.

I can't wait to get started with the first in the series. So let's get into it:

Chapter 1: The basics of outdoor fitness:

One of my favourite things about ANY outdoor sport is how accessible they are. You can get into running, cycling, mountain biking, climbing or hiking with relative ease. The outdoors is free and you can even do it from your home. So let's get started on the basics of outdoor fitness. What do you need? how fit do you need to be?

This week we will cover these two topics:

What do you need?

What you need depends very much on what you are wanting to get into.

Getting into a sport like running for example is incredibly easy. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and some training kit. 

As a starter pack that's basically it.

But you do want to invest in some fairly decent kit if you want to enjoy your first experience of a run. It's all well and good using your old gym trainers for a 20 minute jog but when you start getting into it for real, you will soon see the drawbacks of them.

Proper running trainers give you support, impact resistance and comfort. All key things for beginner (and pro) runners.

So I would say, do some research into what kind of terrain you will be running, on or off road, hilly or flat. Look into this and then seek out some advice from other runners in the area. Social media can be a great place to find these and ask around at what shoes you should buy.

Sports direct do some decent running trainers for a reasonable price with their range of karrimor products. And then, if you do get into it by all means. Spend more money.

But for the most part, running is a very accessible sport. One of the reasons why it is so popular.

Let's move into cycling then. While this can seem like a very expensive sport from the off. It doesn't have to be. You can rent bikes, or hire demo bikes from shops and hire centres and I would 100% recommend doing this. You will be able to test out the sport on a decent piece of kit so it wont be your equipment that provides a negative experience. I have seen many cyclists fall out with it because their bike isn't set  up for them. It makes a HUGE difference.

I would definitely recommend doing this before investing in a half decent bike, closer to £1000 than £100 and you will find the experience so much more enjoyable.

Either buy new or get someone with some experience to help you shop around for a second hand bike. As you can get some bargains IF you know what you are looking for.

After that all you need is a helmet, some bike specific shoes (they don't have to be clips) and a bottle cage so you can carry water with you on your rides. When this is done you just need to go out and ride. 

Spending a lot of money on a bike may seem like a big thing but I promise you it is 100% worth it. And remember, by this point you will have spent a decent amount of money trying bikes out to see if you actually enjoy the sport.

So I would definitely say, invest in the right equipment.

With equipment being covered, let's talk about fitness then.

How fit do you need to be?

You don't. Every one starts somewhere and people get into these sports to be fitter. Yes, it can be demoralising to have to keep stopping every now and then, or getting overtaken but remember. The people doing that were once in your position. 

Cycling and running are two incredible communities and the people within them are usually very encouraging to new people trying it out.

Just enjoy being outdoors and look at the scenery while your having a breather. There are far worse places to need a break that's for sure.

Yes, you can work on getting fitter and faster but that is all part of the fun. Looking back on your rides and runs and seeing your distance and speed increase is what motivates people to carry on pushing for more.

So don't get down about your first run or ride not going as you expected. It's a whole new experience and your getting into a new, exciting hobby. See the positives in these situations. Like the scenery, like the achievement in going a certain distance without stopping and look at where you can develop and you will learn to love it.

Life is a journey remember. And it is ever changing.

That's it for this weeks blog, kind of like an extended introduction before we go onto more in depth topics. 

I hope you enjoyed the entry and as always. If there is anything you want to suggest I would love to hear from you.

Stay safe. Stay outdoors.

Adam.

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