As we come to officially the last day of Summer, the nights draw in and the temperature drops, the temptation of taking your training indoors builds, but it’s worth stopping for a moment to consider the enormous benefits of training outside.
It’s not just about saving money on an overpriced gym membership, although that could be number one on the list! It’s also about feeling more energised and revitalised when working in the fresh air.....whatever the weather.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is naturally made by your body when your skin absorbs sunlight, you need the sunshine Vitamin for strong bones and a healthy immune system. A healthy system is needed more than ever during the darker months to fight off those winter bugs.
Improvement In Mental Health
The University of Glasgow conducted research that illustrated a greater improvement in mental health from training outside, in fact it amounted to a 50% greater positive effect than training indoors, participants experienced less anxiety, tension and stress - Fresh air helps release the feel good chemical serotonin. Because of the feel good factor of working outside there is more likely to be an increase in exercise frequency versus the under used gym membership.
Research has shown that children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have considerable improvement in concentration after taking a 20 minute walk outside. The same theory applies to maintaining focus for adults, if you’re desk bound for 8 hours a day you’re likely to lose clarity of thinking and focus, 30 minutes outside will ensure you re-set your mind. A full workout outside at the beginning of the day will set you up for the next 8 hours.
Many people suffer, to varying degrees, from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is exacerbated by staying inside under a blanket, slowing down physically will mean you not only put on the pounds but could also experience the unwanted side effect of SAD. Getting outside in the winter fresh air produces more mood boosting hormones.
Burn More Calories
You burn extra calories by training in the colder weather. Your body has to work harder to keep warm, which in turn means you are burning more fat, you’re challenging your systems which raises your metabolism. Generally speaking battling the elements means you have little choice but to work that bit harder!
I always have a rush of people around May and June that are desperate to get fit for the Summer, while this is possible the guys I have that train outdoors throughout the winter always hit the summer months in the best possible shape they can possibly be.
Maybe start with walking or running outside on a regular basis, feel the benefits and then start moving towards introducing other exercises.
Once you get used to training outdoors you will start to appreciate all the benefits; The constantly changing scenery versus the Kardashians on a small sweat covered monitor, the soothing feel of the rain versus breathing in the recycled breath of one hundred other gym goers, the money, time convenience, feeling intimidated and more importantly than all the health benefits.
Motivation can be an issue with exercise but with all the benefits of training outside it may be a little easier to get off the sofa….