food and drink 15.2.2014 09:00 am

Active outdoor fitness

WE DID IT. Boot campers high five each after a four-week long programme. Picture: Supplied.

WE DID IT. Boot campers high five each after a four-week long programme. Picture: Supplied.

There’s something about adding the word “adventure” in front of “boot camp: that makes the latter more appealing. The popularisation of outdoor fitness regimes for women has brought about a new generation of “boot campers”.

It’s a short, intensive and rigorous course of physical activity – but there is nothing militant about this workout. If you want someone yelling and pressurising you to lose weight, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Participants work at their own pace, motivated to push to their personal bests, always challenging the body, but never over-training or pushing themselves beyond their limits.

Adventure Boot Camp (ABC) is a four-week outdoor programme that makes use of the natural environment. The fresh air is great and anything away from the busyness of the gym (including lengthy queues) is a bonus.

Held all over the country at varies venues – often at schools – the classes put bodyies under mild doses of physical stress, designed to decrease over time.

No one is ever too old, too out of shape, too weak or too tired to get involved. It’s a matter of starting where you are and finding success – whether it is losing centimetres, toning or improving fitness levels. This is confirmed when comparing assessments done in the first week with those done in the last.

One week in and you will already feel the difference, having increased confidence and endurance. The best thing about working out is that it releases endorphins, which make you feel good and give you the energy needed to get through everyday life.

The workout itself varies from day to day and involves cardiovascular exercises, strength elements and stretching. This includes conditioning, short distance running, dumbbells, jumping rope, circuit training, hiking, fitness kick boxing, Pilates, sports drills, an obstacle course and mat work. Exercises may vary in style depending on the trainer – some are more gracious than others – but they are all professionals who follow the same manuscript.

The aim is to ensure that through the course of the week each and every muscle in your body has been worked.

Each participant is advised to record their goals at the beginning of the camp, which can be logged on your ABC online profile, allowing for reflection at the end. The downfall, however, is it’s four-week programme: partakers come with a goal, achieve that and then choose to forgo the next camp. This often puts them back where they started. Camps are held continuously throughout the year and for the best results should be attended on a regular basis.

Classes are 60 minutes long and held five days a week. Participants wanting a social life – trust me, you feel completely pooped after the class – can choose to attend three times a week.

You will also receive an eating plan based on individual objectives – though, since no one is monitoring this, the battle against chocolates and sweets is often lost. I suggest pairing up with a friend and holding each other accountable.

In an all-female camp, women can feel comfortable, forgetting about how they look and focusing on what they want to achieve.

There’s also a lot of kidding around and chit chat, which

helps to pass the time and takes your mind off the physical fatigue.

Additionally, you establish great friendships, inspired by those around you, while simultaneously inspiring others.

Is it worth it? Absolutely! Go out, get involved and get fit.

 

 

 

 

 

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