Boot camps, as a form of outdoor fitness, are catching on fast amongst the health-conscious these days. Increasing numbers of people are opting for working out in an outdoor fitness b-camp, rather than exercising indoors at home or at the gym.
Boot camps offer exercises that are power-packed and challenging, which last about an hour each session. One of the reasons for the increasing popularity of these exercise boot camps is getting a full body workout within a relatively short period of time per session. Classes are held about 3 to 4 days a week, usually on alternate days. The classes are designed to provide a demanding workout that strengthens the upper and the lower body, cardiovascular fitness, and core body functions.
Although they are based on boot camps that are conducted in the military, these outdoor fitness b-camps are not about enforcing discipline, using the usual stringent methods applied in military b-camps, or prison b-camps. Rather, they are designed to instill a healthy regimen that has the potential of lasting a life time. This does not mean that fitness b-camps are not as demanding physically as military b-camps. They use similar techniques of training, utilizing similar equipment, designed to improve stamina, strength, and overall conditioning of the body.
Fitness boot camps are usually located away from crowded places, like within or near wooded areas, on beaches or in parks. This is because research has proven that exercising outdoors can provide additional benefits, such as enhancing the mood, which is important for maintaining the long-term motivation required for any type of exercise routine. Usually, retired navy or army personnel run these fitness boot camps, using their military experience to design the routines. Some of these b-camps are specially designed for specific groups of people such as older people, women, and children of various age groups.
Classes begin with warm-up exercises like stretching, limbering, on-the-spot jogging, or a slow run around a track, to get the blood circulation going. After the warm-ups, more intensive exercises like rigorous running, body strengthening exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, bear crawling, which is moving on hands and feet, high-intensity on-the-spot jogging, and so on are attempted.
Generally people exercise in groups, under the guidance of an instructor and sometimes alternating sets of exercises amongst themselves as a respite against monotony. The exercises increase in intensity and difficulty levels as the class progresses. Regardless of what kind of shape they may be in when they begin, usually, as the course progresses, people begin experiencing weight loss, they find themselves feeling fitter, stronger and healthier, and there is a reduction in the body fat ratio.
But these boot camps are not only about reducing weight and increasing fitness. They are also designed to improve vitality and enhance self confidence. Activities like hiking and trekking over tough terrain, rock-climbing, and rafting in rough waters are organized regularly which encourage people to push themselves to the limits of their physical capabilities.