Do you train in the gym feeling like a caged hamster running the wheel? Do you crave fresh air and sunlight now that spring is approaching? Are you ready to add oomph to your exercise programme?
Take it outside and ignite the passion. Ahem, your exercise programme ladies…clear the mind!!
With some of my clients I have noticed a big desire for wanting to be outside whilst exercising now that the days are brighter for longer, the birds are chirping and the weather is kinder. This seems to be a common theme amongst many women once winter is behind us, so rather than feeling trapped inside the four walls of the gym and losing your motivation to workout, get yourself outside!
Add Sunshine to the Mind
For some, the thought of going into the gym after being in the office all day is a dreaded thought, which is not the right mindset pre-workout. There are many benefits to using a gym with the extensive equipment it provides, however the beauty of nature provides a massive playground with plenty of “equipment” to use.
Exercising outside can have many advantages – and not just the ever-changing scenery! Varied exercise outside means we are more likely to work our bodies in new and different ways each time we venture out.
Now is the perfect time to start adding variety to your workout schedule.
Here are the top benefits of exercising outside:
Add a big dose of the ‘superstar’ nutrient to your mind and body for an extra boost of health. Sunlight helps supply the body with vitamin D which helps promote the absorption of calcium and provides strength to bones. It strengthens the immune system which will make your body healthier. Also, it improves moods which is great for reducing stress and depression.
2. Fresh Air
We all know how amazing it feels to step outside and breathe in fresh air feeling the sunshine on our bodies. Why not do the same when exercising? You might enjoy the workout more! It definitely beats air-conditioning or a warm, musty sweaty feeling inside the gym.
3. Mental Stimulation
It is important to work the mind as well as your bum! Stepping outside into a park or countryside gives a complete sense of mental clarity which cannot be compared to working out at home or in a gym. On top of this boost of motivation, being outside seems to help concentration; therefore making your brain work better. So stimulate your mind for a better workout.
4. More Likely to Stick At It
Most clients I have worked with prefer to train outside if given the opportunity (which can be difficult over here in the North of the UK). For those of you who are lucky to have good weather take advantage of it regularly. You are more likely to stick to your training programme compared to being stuck in the gym; this reason links in with all three points above.
5. Increased Energy
Any type of exercise will give you a boost of energy; however being outside in fresh air gives the extra energy effect. Connecting with nature takes motivation to another level and gives that urge to push further in a workout.
6. More Variety
Being outside opens up a new avenue for exercise. Walk, run, swim, cycle, play in a park, do bodyweight exercises in a field or be a daredevil with watersports. There is more to exercise than a barbell. Your body can still benefit with these activities whilst enjoying the whole process.
7. Feel Good Factor
Most important of all…enjoyment. The more you enjoy exercise the most likely you will stick with it, therefore a better chance to gain the results you want.
Example exercises for the outdoors:
- River wading
- Hill scrambling
- Hill sprints
Example workouts for the outdoors:
- Steady paced 30 minute run in a park or woodland
- Hill sprints. Do 4 sets of short distance sprints on the bottom part of the hill and rest for 1 minute between each one. Then do 4 sets of longer distance sprints and rest for 2 minutes between each one. Then to finish do 2 to 4 sets of short distance sprints at a higher incline on the hill and rest for 2 minutes between each one.
- Walking adventure. Take a new route and go for a walk in beautiful countryside. Take your dog too!
If you like to train for an event or need an extra boost of motivation for a goal, try one of these type of events:
- Park run
- ½ marathon
- Open water swim
- A mud race with obstacles
Boost your inner goddess and take it outside for a new spring in your step!