In recent years, fitness boot camps have become more and more popular, advertised as the ultimate way to lose weight and get in shape. The question is, are they any good?
A quick trawl through a search engine will uncover loads of different people offering boot camps as a way to get fit or lose weight. You'll see boot camps with many different styles and many different objectives, but all of them will share certain features - these are tough workouts designed to get your blood pumping and your muscles working.
Options include one-off boot camp workouts, weeklong intensives, or regular weekly classes, each offering a range of exercises based on army training. This type of workout has been used for decades to get new recruits ready to fight, but is it effective for normal people?
Amazingly, the answer is yes! Of course, the programs have been adapted somewhat, but they will typically include elements such as:
- Circuit training
- Core work
- Parade drills
- Battle drills
- Team games
- Obstacle courses
One huge benefit of boot camp workouts is that they get you outdoors. This may not sound like much, but there are huge benefits to being outside that gym dwellers miss out on. Indeed, research shows that getting outside for your workouts has a whole host of benefits. These can include:
- Exposure to natural light - most people are indoors all day, but natural light is so much healthier than fluorescents
- Exposure to the sun - regular exposure to sunlight helps produce vital Vitamin D
- Working on uneven ground - moving over natural terrain improves core stability and works your peripheral muscles
- Breathing fresh air - this is good for your lungs and overall health
But there are other, hidden benefits. Because these workouts are tough, and typically involve new challenges for people, not only will they get you get fitter, they will also teach you about yourself, helping you to develop a new, more positive outlook, a new feeling of self worth. This can help you to take on challenges and succeed in other areas of your life.
However, what people really want to know is, will it get me fitter? The answer is an unequivocal yes, with benefits including:
- Weight loss
- Reduced body fat
- Increased functional strength
- Improved endurance
- Improved posture
- Improved relaxation
This type of workout is suitable for anyone, with programs designed for men, for women, for weight loss, and in a variety of locations.
If you are looking for a new, effective way to get in shape of lose weight, this might be a great way to kick start your fitness program.