The best things in life are free, and so are the gyms!
While there is a lot to be said for gyms with a lot of equipment, trainers on hand and the latest classes. There are also huge benefits to another kind of gym… the outdoors.
While it may not have a wall of mirrors or squat racks for days, what it does have are a variety of obstacles and a number of benefits way beyond a sweet steam sesh after your spin.
The benefits to getting outside include:
Yep, as simple as it may sound fresh air has huge positive effects. For a start, you can breath in actual fresh air rather than recycled air that has bounced around your office or gym for days. You can smell the natural scents of the trees and nature around you and take huge great lung fulls of good old fashioned fresh air.
Breathing in fresh air helps clear your mind and boost your oxygen levels ready to get that blood pumping!
Reconnect With Nature Yo
Multiple scientific studies have linked getting out into nature for your move session not only decreases stress and anxiety, but it can also lower blood pressure, increase clarity and can have up to 50% more positive effect on your mental health than working out in a gym.
And There’s More!
Increased self esteem, a huge mood boost, increased immune function, higher levels of vitamin D (but don’t forget your sunscreen!) and an improved, more positive mindset and outlook.
Due to distractions, a much nicer environment and your elevated happiness levels, you tend to be motivated to exercise for longer periods when you’re outside. And every day / session outdoors is going to be different, even if you’re doing the same thing which makes it more engaging for your mind and body. By having your brain, mind and body all ‘on’ you’ll be getting the most out of your session.
According to surveys, you’re also even more likely to stick to your exercise regime than you are 100% indoor programs.
You’ll also burn more calories and have increased resistance in your training thanks to natures little ‘challenges’ such as wind, hills, changes in terrain, landmarks that you can use to challenge your endurance and the flexibility that comes with dodging pedestrians, jumping over branches or rocks and speeding up so you can catch that person up ahead to pat their dog … just me?
Saving Your Monies
Let’s face it, life is expensive so if there’s the opportunity to save a couple of bucks why not take it? Saving money on a daily gym pass or membership means that I can do my cardio and general circuit training outdoors and save my money for more specialised training to really help me reach my goals.
Take Your Dog
Extra quality time with your pooch as well as all of the mood boosting and stress reducing benefits that come with hanging out with your dog? Yes please! Working out outdoors in the park or going for hikes means that you get to take your best pal with you. And, if you don’t have your own dog being outside definitely increases your chances of meeting someone else’s dog :)
Reconnecting with ourselves on a deeper level is essential as we’re bombarded with increasing daily demands and ‘screen time’ which make it difficult to switch off. So it makes sense that out bodies and minds respond so positively to getting back to basics and getting outside, back to nature and our natural environment.
Why not take your next workout outdoors into nature and see how you feel!
What’s your favourite way to exercise outside?