Springtime Benefits Of Outdoor Training Sessions

Springtime Benefits Of Outdoor Training Sessions

In the UK, the transition to British Summer Time is around the corner and temperatures are starting to rise, meaning it’s time to make the most of the great outdoors! If you are a gym-based trainer, studio class loving referee or neither, it’s time to take the plunge and try taking your session outdoors. Here are the reasons why:

Sunshine – As much as we’d like, we can’t get this from training in studios or gyms. The sun and exposure to brighter weather provides us with access to Vitamin D which has some great health benefits (when consumed in moderation). A bit of sunshine has been proven to help with low mood and depression as well as many other mood disorders. Think of the endorphin release from getting some exercise in the sun!

Mental Stimulation – There is no substitute for getting out and about in the great outdoors, such as on the track, and breathing in some lovely fresh air! Being outside also stimulates the mind, it will get you out of your house and taking in new sights, sounds and feelings.

Psychological Benefits – More and more research is proving that outdoor training sessions are good for the mind. When exercising amongst wildlife you can give your mood a boost and help to combat anxiety and stress.

New Exercises – By stepping outside the world is your playground. You can use different inclines for running sessions and natural occurring obstacles to use those muscles you’ve not woken up for a while!

A more varied workout – Outside you’ll find different terrain that we can’t recreate in a gym or studio. There are hills, steps, various surfaces (think grass, mud, hard surfaces, gravel) and our bodies respond in different ways to handle them. All great for building balance, which helps on the field, too!

Join Others Outside!

There are many gyms and leisure clubs heading outside to maximise health and fitness training session gains at this time of year, with timetables including running groups and a range of bootcamps catering for all fitness levels and abilities, although the sunshine is not guaranteed! Try to find your local clubs.

There are running groups and clubs for all abilities with the 3-5k sessions established especially for beginners. They are suited to officials that haven’t run much recently, or those looking to build up to run their first 5k since injury. There are 5-7k sessions are for those who are active officials looking to increase their fitness levels, with more continuous running and some interval sessions mixed in.  The 8-10k run sessions are for those with more running training experience and who would like to improve their fitness in onfield performances. Sessions can consist of interval and tempo sessions. Training like this, amongst colleagues, can provide a great social environment.

When preparing to build back from a low fitness base, such as after injury or at the start of pre-season, bootcamps are a fantastic way of improving fitness in a supportive group environment. Yes, you’ve got an instructor shouting instructions, yes, you are going to get dirty and yes, you’re going to have a fun!  Sessions are a great way to prepare for the changes of intensity in movement throughout a match or just get outside to enjoy group training that’s a little different to the norm when working with colleagues on the pitch. Expect to work hard, but also expect to get great rewards, both in terms of fitness and satisfaction of group achievement.

At The Third Team I work individually and in collaboration with different professionals where I have developed workshops and 1-2-1 sessions associated with Resilience and Mental Toughness Development to help referees. The workshops and 1-2-1 sessions are interactive, where referees are encouraged to open up and share their experiences to help themselves and each other.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more about my workshops or 1-2-1 sessions and how I could help you or your officials.

Best Wishes,

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Nathan Sherratt

Referee Educator & Managing Director of The Third Team

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Nathan Sherratt

Nathan Sherratt, Referee Educator, Resilience Trainer and Managing Director of The Third Team.  A Mental Toughness Practitioner based in Tyne & Wear, North East England.