As summer is trying to rear its head through the grey clouds, I thought it would be nice to write a post all about the benefits of exercising outdoors.
This topic is very close to my heart as I run outdoor bootcamps and I know that training outside is something that I have grown to love over the years. I have also found that my clients absolutely love training outside as well.
After this post you should also be well on the way to trying it even if you haven’t already to started training outside yourself.
So, to be strictly honest, you don’t get loads of vitamin D in the UK during the winter months but during the summer you get plenty. Most of us spend far too much time inside either working or watching Netflix and our levels of vitamin D can become depleted. This can cause something called Seasonal Affective Disorder and lead to bouts of depression amongst other things. There is a cure for this and that is getting your butt of the couch and outside.
Vitamin D is created by being outside in the sunlight but be aware that too much sun can cause harm.
Too much sun, in the UK. Who am I kidding?!
Meet New People
I don’t know about you but when I go down to my local gym all I see are people on exercise machines with either their head craning down to look at a TV monitor and wearing headphones or they are trying to avoid eye contact all together.
Not the friendliest of folks.
I have found through thousands of hours training others outside that the opposite is true when you take it out of the gym. Throw in some adverse conditions and you just can’t help but laugh with the person next to you when doing a push-up in the mud.
It’s called Dunkirk Spirit.
I have seen some of the strongest friendships made when training outside. All it takes is for you to take a step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.
Constantly Changing Terrain
This should never be overlooked as a great aid to training and I will explain why.
When you train on a treadmill or other exercise machine you are moving in a linear way, never having to adjust for anything other than changing the TV channel. This could cause repetitive type injuries and doesn’t always leave you in a stronger place.
Not to mention, it is boring as heck.
Constantly moving through terrain that changes, dodging obstacles and dealing with weather and wind not only makes you work harder. It also allows you grow stronger as stabiliser muscles are used more often and you have to work twice as hard when running into a head wind.
These factors not only ensure that you work harder and burn more calories but also that you are less prone to injury and stronger as a result.
Get Sick Less Often
It’s thought that recycled air from AC units like the ones found in gyms have up to five times for germs riding along in it. Horrible!
That’s a lot of germs that can find their way to you. Plus, you have equipment that is used multiple times an hour by various people along with busy changing rooms and just more sweaty people in general.
This all means that the likelihood of you getting sick is probably greater if you are stuck inside working out.
Workingout, outdoors means you are breathing fresh air and getting rid of germs, not taking them in.
As a species we are meant to be outside. We have evolved as hunter-gatherers and not office dwellers so naturally we feel better when we are outside.
It is thought that training outside boosts your mood and can be the perfect tonic to bouts of depression.
It is also the case that being outside increases your concentration, makes you feel revitalised and energises you.
I know that I feel much happier and healthier when I train outside, rather than being cooped up in an artificially lit gym.
So, there you have my top 5 reasons why it is better to train outdoors rather than in a traditional gym.
You could say that I am a little biased as I train mainly outdoors myself and with my clients. But, if I didn’t feel the benefit would I still be doing it years later?
Try it for yourself. I know it will make you feel amazing.
What are your thoughts? Let me know below in the comments section.
Be all you can be
P.S. I have run an outdoor bootcamp in the Midlands called Fitbox. Come down and try a session when you are passing through. I would love to meet you.