More often than not, people assume that fitness is all about high intensity, gritting your teeth and performing hours of exercise in pursuit of the perfect body. For some, that may be the case and in my opinion that style is a circus that most people need not involve themselves with.
As long as you are consistent, physical activity can serve many purposes depending on what you may feel like doing on any given day. Having exercise options is the benefit of building a solid foundation of physical conditioning, that is why I write so often about the importance of building your basic levels of fitness.
With that in mind, I encourage you to give Trail Running or walking a try! There is a paved trail right next to my house and I use it often for bike rides and runs of all types and intensities. However, the local park system cut a series of paths through the surrounding woods and they are great. They wind, dip, turn and also run along a fairly large creek that has all kinds of large, fallen trees that you can run across and over as you follow the trails. Running along a trail with the greenery starting to come in full bloom and the sound of water flowing by is amazing.
Aside from the benefit of running in a serene, natural setting, it was a great cross training workout. With the various levels and types of terrain, I had to move my feet quickly and keep my senses sharp to avoid obstacles so I could stay on the trail…it was a blast!
Workouts like these are great for maintaining and improving your balance, reflexes and ability to perform decisive movements in short amounts of time. People often overlook the fact that if you don’t keep challenging your body with skill-based activities, it loses the ability to do so because there is no need for sharp reflexes if all you do is walk on a paved trail every day or perform one particular movement without variation.
Mix things up, challenge your body and keep it guessing. When the body is guessing it is progressing…Try a trail run or a walk, you’ll be glad you did!