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Nature fitness – health and exercise in the open

Running Exercise Cardiovascular_training Health

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A new fitness trend has started in Denmark. The environmental ministry in cooperation with the forest-and nature control, is beginning to install training environments in the Danish forest. The point is to use the objects around you in nature, to create a good and varying fitness exercise.

What is nature fitness?

Nature fitness is a new trend, and in all it’s simplicity it only demands a few logs, some space to move and some imagination. It is the well known run in the forest, combined with one or more spontaneous exercises, performed with the objects surrounding you.

Nature fitness is comprised by 4 general types of exercises:

  1. Lifting your own weight
  2. Lifting objects (wood – stone)
  3. Pulse / Cardio training
  4. Balance

The exercises

It is important to start with a good warm up to avoid injuries and enhance your performance power. Start with warming up for 10-15 minutes, and reach all muscle groups.

When commencing the training it is a good idea to structure it, so that it is divided into sections. It is especially important to have the pulse training in one section, in order to get the pulse high for as long as possible to get the best possible effect. The strength and balance training can be performed before and/or after the pulse training.

What do you do?

When lifting your own weight, you use the objects around. Pull yourself up by the branch of a tree, make push ups with your legs on a log to add resistance. Make pull ups from a branch that is low to the ground, with your heels resting on the ground. Climb a tree, and challenge both your strength and dexterity. You can make back and abdominal exercises between two logs, by lodging your feet in under the one, and resting your thighs against the other

There are also a lot of possibilities to use objects in nature to workout. Perform bench press like exercises with a fitting log, use logs as dumb bells, run carrying a log to add tension and strength exercising to your pulse training.

Balance exercises are good for strengthening muscles in the knees and ankles, and can therefore help to prevent strains - and are especially good if it is something you have previously had problems with. One can perform balancing act on a tree log, on pieces of wood and stone, crawling on all four on the two tree logs - or one log if you are good. Make a rocker, if you are two together working out - or try to push each other down from a tree log, that strengthens balance, coordination skills and dexterity.

So all nature fitness really needs is some guts and the desire to try out a new way of exercising.

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