The weather is slowly warming up and we can finally get out of our winter clothes. It’s the perfect time to start exercising again!
One of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is by getting active and exercising, which many of you on your weight loss journey will know just how important it is to get the body moving.
With so many types of physical activity to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for you. There are a few different concepts that should help guide this decision process including your fitness level and time availability. You may also want to consider the type of goals required before selecting an option as well!
Whatever your workout equivalent is to “taking a walk,” going outside and getting some fresh air will always be better. But there’s so much more than just the physical benefits. The mental clarity you get from being outdoors is incredible; it has been shown that people who exercise in nature feel less stressed out or anxious when compared with those exercising indoors. A person can take their mind off of what they are doing by focusing on something else like listening for sounds around them which helps calm our nerves because we’re not focused solely on how hard this activity may seem.
Exercising outdoors is beneficial to all people with differing levels of fitness, from beginners looking to get started on their journey to experts in need of physical therapy.
Here are just a few reasons why you should switch up your workout with a Spring clean.
1. It lowers blood pressure and reduces stress
The outdoors offers a sense of freedom and excitement that is hard to find anywhere else and studies have shown that physical activity outdoors lowers a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. That means exercising outdoors feels less strenuous than similar exercise indoors, which, in turn, pushes you closer to your maximum performance.
2. Helps with insomnia
The fresh air you breathe when exercising outdoors is not just good for your health, it has been proven to improve sleep! If regular exercise helps keep the doctor away then this should be enough of a reason alone. In addition, having more restful nights by walking around outside under starry skies can make all of those days seem better because they remind us that we are alive and living life fully even if it’s hard sometimes.
3. Simply put – sunshine!
When you are out training, the fresh air will invigorate your mind and body. Sunshine provides the vitamin D that we need! It’s even got this amazing effect on people who feel down or depressed because they often find themselves happier after spending time in direct sunlight. However, it’s remember to stay well and truly hydrated when out in the sun and apply plenty of sunscreen!
4. An opportunity for change
Has your workout routine become mundane and boring? Why not spice it up by using different outdoor locations. Check out your local park where you can utilise a park bench for step ups, dips and pushups for extra toning. Live near a beach? Soft sand walking adds resistance which strengthens the muscles between your feet and back, working your calves, quads and glutes. Even better if you’re able to explore some trails and enjoy the benefits hiking has to offer.
5. Get involved
The outdoors offers an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get together and enjoy their surroundings while exercising. And if you’re looking for like-minded individuals and potentially new friends, this will be an excellent opportunity.
6. It’s free!
What’s better than getting exercise for free!? In the outdoors, you can enjoy a wide variety of scenic views and the fresh air without having to worry about finding equipment or paying fees. Plus there are always plenty of stairs around so that even those who don’t like running or walking outside will be able to find something they love with this type of workout. Keep your eyes open when walking through your local parks, because you may just find a FREE outdoor gym tucked away in the corner.
7. Boost your mood
All in all, outdoor exercise benefits the whole body by bringing joy, well-being and a better mood!
Tanya Walker, WLSA Fitness Innovator