At this time of year, I find it seriously hard to stay indoors. In the UK, any time the sun is shining is a rare moment, so I eat my lunch in the park, I take the bus instead of the tube, I even take my laptop home to work whilst basking in the warm rays. It seems a shame to waste it right, so why on earth would you not take your workout outside too? It’s not called ‘The Great Outdoors’ for nothing…
Makes You Work Harder
A mixed terrain means your body has to put in way more effort just to keep your balance, and instead of plotting out your inclines or intensity on a machine, it’s all down to nature to challenge you. Uneven ground, wind, obstacles, they all create resistance and challenge you in new ways. Not only this, but the varied surroundings will mean you are visually stimulated, so you’ll barely notice the time going by (I mostly get distracted by cute dogs). Without a ticking clock on a screen in front of you (or another episode of The Kardashians), you’ll be out of breath and filled with feel-good endorphins before you know it.
Enhances Your Mindfulness
In most jobs these days, it’s pretty easy to be indoors most of the time. You travel to work by car/bus/tube, you sit at your desk in front of a screen, you might go outside for lunch if your to-do list isn’t exploding, and at the end of the day, it’s all too easy to pop into a gym, punch out a quick workout, then crash out in front of the TV inside at home. It’s super important to disconnect from technology, and getting back to nature is a great way of doing this while making the most of pure, clean, fresh air.
Being outdoors means no screens, lots of space, and warm sunshine beaming on your skin. Scottish researchers have found that working out outside has a 50% greater positive effect on mental health than just going to the gym. This, alongside other studies, have shown just being in natural places, whether thats walking down a country path, or just nipping to your local park, can help release the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin.
Increase Vitamin D Levels
Your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and aid your immune system in fighting off illness. If you don’t get enough, you might be putting yourself at risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression and weight gain #oigh. Absorbing those rays is a sure-fire way to make you you get your RDA in, with researchers suggesting you need 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at least twice a week. So, with all this said, boost your vitamins, get a glow and move that booty.
Bye bye gym membership, class payments, PT costs, car parking. Hello money to spend on new activewear. No brainer.
Helps Mix Things Up
Think running is your only outdoor workout? Think again. Not everyone is a cardio bunny, so think outside the box; there are so many ways you can embrace the last of the summer sun. Try taking a walk around your city streets and discovering what it has to offer, hire a surfboard at the seaside and try out the waves, jump on a Santander bike and cruise around the park, or even just move your yoga mat outside and get your flow on.