Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2013 -- The experience of free running through an open park or down a city street sounds both enthralling and challenging, and rightly so. But this new style of fitness is popping up across the country, enticing avid runners, strength training athletes, and other fitness enthusiasts to take to the outdoors for a new style of workout.
Dubbed Parkour, the workout is also widely known as “free running.” It is a non-competitive style of movement which involves a significant fitness level but also strategic brain power and planning capabilities. The object of the workout is to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. This often means springing over tables or small fences, or even scaling walls, rather than finding an alternate path around the obstacle.
Parkour is a challenging workout which requires the stamina of a long distance runner and the strength of a cross-trained athlete, but it also provides numerous health benefits. In addition to being a full body strengthening and cardiovascular endurance workout, the courses a person chooses requires planning skills to challenge the mind as well as the body. This type of training also improves coordination, balance and landing skills, and increases reaction time by making the brain and the body work together.
While anyone can partake in a parkour style workout, there are some strategies one should be aware of to prevent injury and keep safe during their course. Before setting out on a journey, make sure the body is properly warmed up with a few exercises, and be familiar with techniques of jump squats, pull-ups and push-ups to enable quick reaction time and proper form while running on the path.
Parkour can be taken on as an addition to any strength training workout, and may even enhance the effects of those exercises. But after the run is finished, ensure the body is cooled down properly with a series of stretches and plenty of hydration. If free-running through a park and not letting any obstacles stand in the way sounds interesting, research local parkour clubs or city events that can offer lessons or get one started on their first free run experience.
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