I love exercising outdoors. Not only is the view better than looking at a blank wall in the gym, you get the fresh air and there is no gym membership to pay. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a gym membership, but I try to take my workouts outside as much as I can because I find them so much more enjoyable. With Summer well and truly here (although, it is a bit grey today), I thought I would share some of the benefits of exercising outdoors:
– Extra Vitamin D: You don’t just get vitamins from the foods that you eat and vitamin D, which you get from the sun, is an important one and is produced naturally in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Making sure that you are seeing enough sunlight can help to prevent major autoimmune conditions. Of course it is always important to make sure that you protect your skin and don’t stay in direct sunlight for too long, but make sure your body is seeing enough sunlight too.
– Good for your mental health: We all know that exercise increases your happiness in general, but research shows that outdoor exercises is linked to a greater decrease in stress and anger. I totally get that. There is just something about running in the great outdoors that clears your head. I always say to people, running – cheaper than therapy.
– More energy: When you exercise outside, you are getting more fresh air. This gives you more energy and therefore a better workout overall. A better workout sounds good to me. I always feel better after an outdoor workout too – it must be all the fresh air.
– More likely to stick to it: Studies have also shown that people that exercise outside are more likely to stick to it than gym-goers. I think this must come down to the views again. Pushing yourself on a treadmill (or dreadmill as I like to call it) at the gym with no view, and therefore nothing to distract you, is not the best conditions to entice you back. But remembering the views of the rolling hills and running through the trees won’t fill you with quite as much dread and you are more likely to head out for another workout.
Here are some of my favourite photos from some of my best outside workouts this year.
The field that leads up to a nice river to run along in Chorlton.
In the French Alps
A bridal trail when I was visiting family in Essex.
A run around Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Early morning at my local park
A cold winter run
Along the river in Gdansk, Poland
This weeks challenge as part of my AXA PPP healthcare 52 Little Things challenge is to explore the great outdoors. So, my challenge to you is to take one or two of your workouts outside and see if you notice a difference. If you are not sure what to do, take a look at my No Gym Required Workout.
Can you believe that we are in week 31 of the challenge already. Are you still making the little changes each week with me?
What is your favourite outdoors workout? Where is your favourite spot to workout outside? Leave a comment below.
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