As I’m typing this, I’m looking outside my window at a huge grey cloud and a lovely wet garden! Yep, it’s raining in August… BUT for the past month or so the weather has been amazing, so I’m going to be optimistic and tell you about the benefits of working out outside, in the hope that the sunshine and dry days will return soon. They will, they honestly will!
Now, I’m not against the gym – I’d be nowhere without the gym, especially on those cold & rainy days and on the days when you’re lacking a bit of motivation, so need a pick-me-up from a group class. I just think it’s important to make the most out of the light evenings & mornings and head over to your local park to train in the fresh air and reap the benefits.
I’ve just told you the first reason; fresh air, why breath in the gym’s air conditioning when you can have some fresh air in your lungs? Exactly, you can’t think of a reason. Here are a few more to tempt you outside for your next workout.
Go to your local park or recreational ground and workout for free. Despite what some people might think, you can do an excellent workout without the fancy gym machines and weights. If you’re lucky enough to have a park with a fitness trail near you, then that’s even better, as you can use your body weight for exercises such as pull ups.
Yes we should be wary of UV rays, but vitamin D is massively beneficial to your overall health. It’s necessary for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones. It’s also an immune system regulator, but enjoy it in moderation though!
Increase in endorphins:
Training outdoors has been associated with higher levels of these ‘feel good’ chemicals being produced in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus during exercise. Another natural and beneficial chemical that the body produces is Serotonin, which is boosted in the sunlight – it is said that Serotonin helps you feel calm, alert and capable.
More negative ion’s:
The word negative might sound bad, but these little invisible guys are linked to an improved sense of well being and are said to boost energy, enhance mood and promote quality sleep, as well as help us to stay mentally focused. Sound good, right?! Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain says “Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy”.
Improved mental performance:
When you exercise outdoors there is so much more for your brain to take in and process, with all of the goings on around you. Additionally, the increased fresh oxygen, negative ion’s and vitamin D all work together to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.
So, next time you think about working out, why not head over to your local park rather than the gym. Let me know how you get on! x