• Becks


Updated: Aug 23

Sir David Attenborough has said that the "Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages" and has made the issue feel as if it is in "the distant future." This is the sad truth: like Covid-19, climate change is going to be the next biggest killer so we shouldn’t ignore it.

Environmentally aware training is one of the core values at the heart of my business model and it's why I specialise in outdoor personal training. I have years of experience in all weather conditions. I’m not a half-hearted advocate for what I do. I entirely believe that what I offer is one of the best forms of exercise.

In my twenties I was a total gym bunny going to the gym at least three times a week, after I broke up with my ex fiancee at age 29, I ramped it up to 5 days a week waking up at 5am to be at the gym for 6am and then heading to work for a 7am shifts. I was exhausted but entirely committed and I loved it. In conjunction with this I attending a two hour drill evening at the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) once a week. The physical training was in an outdoor setting mostly and was giving me such a buzz. Naturally when I became a personal trainer I followed the usual path - working in a gym, after seven months even though it was a great experience in many ways I realised if I was going to continue to do personal training I had to change the way I was doing it to find a way of making it more authentic to me.

PT session with my trainer Sabrina
After a workout at Gymbox preparing for a bodybuilding competition 2017
Gymbox at night

I wanted a raw, natural environment away from the synthetic, noise polluted, sweaty, unsanitary and totally environmentally unfriendly gym. When I worked in a gym, I felt like I was inhaling stale air. The flow of fresh air was non-existent, just the air conditioner which blasted my neck as I bench pressed. I already have a tense neck and the a/c aggravated it. The drill nights completely influenced the future of my training and for five years I’ve chosen to train my

clients in an open natural environment. It's a transforming experience once you do it which is why my training is so popular. Some personal trainers do some fair weathered training in the summer but at The Outdoor Pt training continues through all seasons- if it's dangerous we take a rain check but this is very rare. What some exercisers might not realise is that by going to the gym and using the equipment they may be helping themselves but harming the environment,

I have not been to a gym since I left Gymbox. I don't need one and neither do the majority of people, they just think they do. After Covid-19 it looks like things will be changing. Some gyms are planning "Hong Kong-style pre-check questionnaires, reduced gym capacity, Perspex screens, 2x2 metre workout stations taped off and constant, on-the-go cleaning regimes.” It’s not going to be like the old days for the average gym goer and may not have the same appeal that it once did. Gyms are even considering members having to book their exercise slot via the gym’s app as a solution to the complex issue of adapting to a world where social distancing is the norm.

So, before you think to go back when your gym reopens, and before I run out of space, why not consider ditching that (potentially restricted access) membership and try something new. Here are some additional reasons to book.

Why should I exercise outdoors?

1) A regular dose of outdoor exercise can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effects of exercise.

2) Nature nurtures us; it is paramount to our overall health and well-being.

3) Studies show that we possess and inherent attraction towards nature going all the way back to our hunter gather days.

4) It is estimated that running outdoors burns 5% more calories than running indoors.

5) One treadmill can burn the equivalent of fifteen 75-Watt light bulbs while in use - think of all those machines in your gym!!

6) Equipment in an empty gym still uses energy while in standby mode while overcrowded gyms have their machines on constant use, burning large amounts of energy.

7) The increased temperature generated in a busy gym requires an increase in the use of fans and air conditioning - more energy being used.

8) All those lights that make the space look so flash are consistently on and using electricity, even is no one is working out.

9) Even the vending machines use 10 times the amount of a home refrigerator. When you begin to add all of the costs together, gyms are generating a huge carbon footprint, do you want to be part of the reason for that?

10) Over the last 50 years society has changed a great deal; people spend more time indoors, eat more junk food, spend hours sat at desks and less time outside.

11) With the increased oxygen consumption and fresh air people who exercise in the park often have more energy than those that exercise in the gym.

12) Outdoor exercising provides more variety than the same repetitive rowing, elliptical and treadmill workout where as muscle memory takes over in a synthetic environment, give your muscles more of a challenge.

13) With a constantly changing terrain you are more mentally engaged.

14) Improved mental health compared with exercising indoors, get a greater feeling of revitalisation, decreased tension, confusion, anger, depression and anxiety.

15) Financially speaking, a few hundred quid on personal training sessions at The Outdoor Pt is cheaper than buying a gym membership and never using it. At the end of the day you leave with the skills to train yourself, self sufficient from the gym and a personal trainer.

Lockdown workout in Barcelona 2021
Lockdown workout 2021
Snow workout in 2017
Bulgarian split squats supported by a tree in the sunshine
Soaking wet on a water break during a workout but loving the challenge.

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