Spring is here and that means many people pull themselves out of a winter funk and get back into a system of regular exercise. Even those who are able to resist sitting on the couch all winter long have to resort to exercising indoors.
As you spring clean your life and put away your winter coats, you may want to throw out your gym membership too. We all know the benefits of getting regular exercise, and working out outdoors could be even better for your health, and your bank account.
It’s good for your body and your mind
We work out primarily for the physical benefits, but in this day and age with our lives being run by technology and machines, getting outside and away from these things will do wonders for your well-being too. Getting out in the sunlight increases your body’s intake of vitamin D, improving your immune system and increasing endorphins throughout your body, making you feel happier. Running outdoors instead of on the treadmill also means you work harder without realising it. The turning belt of a treadmill means the machine is doing some of the work for you. When you run outside, you provide the movement, and due to air resistance you will increase your workload from 2 to 10 per cent.
It may make you feel better about yourself
Many of us feel uncomfortable working out in a gym, especially if you are already a self-conscious person. So you sign up and only go once or twice because it sometimes felt like all eyes were on you and that made you less motivated. When you’re exercising in nature, the local wildlife doesn’t care about your struggle. Exercise in general is good for your confidence, but outdoor exercise may be even better and will motivate you to do it more often.
Outdoor fitness may be easier to stick with
Finding an exercise routine that continues to motivate you is difficult, but once you find one that you enjoy, you will naturally want to keep up with it because of the feeling you get while doing it. So that shot of pleasure you get from being outdoors may mean it’s more likely you’ll stick to your program.
Improves energy levels and decreases stress
There have been many studies done to prove that there is a clear connection between spending time outdoors and a reduction in stress. Plus, fresh air and increased oxygen helps release the feel-good chemicals that make you happier, and boosts your energy levels. No artificial LED lighting can give you energy like the sun can.
Best of both worlds
Not ready to give up your access to those fancy workout machines? You don’t have to choose just one place to go. It is totally possible to find a happy balance between indoor and outdoor workouts. Some workout groups exist entirely outdoors and lots of gyms offer seasonal classes outside. It has become clear that mixing up indoor and outdoor sessions is a great way to keep exercise exciting and, most importantly, fun.
Even if you are not able to do strenuous exercises, get outside in the fresh air by taking a walk down your street or in a park to get your dose of vitamin D and stimulate your endorphins.