Working out in a gym isn't for everyone. A lot of people find it boring, intimidating or feel a bit too exposed. If a gym environment isn't for you or you just want to try something different, taking your workouts outdoors could help to get you excited about exercise again.
The beauty of providing online personal training services is that I get the chance to help my clients to become more active and get fitter without having to step foot in a traditional gym. There are some fantastic benefits to exercising outdoors instead of at the gym or at home. Here are six of the top reasons you should take your workouts outdoors.
1. Burn More Calories
You might not believe it, but you can burn more calories by exercising outdoors than going to the gym depending on what you are doing in each situation. If you have a weight loss goal besides becoming healthier and fitter, getting out to get active can be a great way to boost the process.
If you're a runner, for example, you'll burn more calories running outdoors than you will on a 0% incline treadmill. The wind resistance and the different types of terrain, not to mention inclines, encourage you to use more energy.
Setting the incline to 1% or playing with the incline will help you use more energy, however, if you get bored easily on the treadmill, including outdoors sessions can help you stay more consistent with your training and ensure you meet your training goals and ultimately see the desired results.
2. Feel Happier
Exercising outdoors can help you feel great about yourself too, which according to my lady clients can be a challenge when stuck between the office and home most of the time. Exercise is always excellent for managing stress, but doing it outdoors, especially when the sun is out will help the "feel good" factor, regulate your energy levels and feel more balanced in many ways.
A study from the University of Exeter Medical School showed that while any exercise is good for your self-esteem, working out while enjoying rural landscapes is even better. Exercising in an urban environment is good for you too, but getting some green into your exercise routine gives the best outcomes.
3. Be More Motivated
Getting yourself motivated to work out isn't always easy. Even if you start getting a momentum going, it can be easy to lose all of that motivation quickly. Your level of motivation depends on many factors and when you feel low or tired, your motivation will decrease too.
Exercising outdoors, the excitemen of the change of environment could help you to stay motivated and want to keep doing it again and again. People tend to enjoy outdoor activity more than exercising at the gym or inside at home. The fresh air, sunshine and the varying views could motivate you a lot more than running in place in an air-conditioned gym.
4. Save Money
While it might not be a physiological benefit, most people will jump at the chance to save money. Exercising outdoors means you're not having to pay for the gym membership, buy equipment to use at home and many activities cost near nothing in the fresh air.
Whether you use a local jogging trail or you look for your nearest outdoor gym (these are great for a complete workout at no extra cost), you'll be able to keep more money in your pocket. You could save it or use it buy yourself treats as rewards and incentives. If you feel you lack the knowledge to keep your workout plan goal specific and varied, you can use that money you save to hire a qualified online coach to help you design a plan that suits your lifestyle and your training environment.
5. Feel Reinvigorated
Exercising outdoors is fantastic for invigorating you. The fresh and sometimes biting air and the sunshine (if you're lucky) are both excellent for waking you up.
In fact, a University of Rochester study from 2009 found that 20 minutes outdoors can reinvigorate you just as much as a cup of coffee. You'll get back inside feeling much happier, energetic and awake, and you won't have any jitters from the caffeine.
6. Manage Pain and Stress
Getting fit is tough, and getting fit after 40 can be even tougher. You have new aches and pains in areas you didn't even know existed. But exercising outdoors could help you to manage pain and feel less stressed. Sunshine is especially beneficial (even if it's overcast), giving you higher levels of vitamin D.
Feel free to get in touch if you have questions or need directions on how to achieve your fitness goals.
Owner and creator of One Small Step, Joe has been in the health and fitness industry for 8 years and takes an all-round approach to his coaching.