Summer seems to have finally arrived, and as much as we love our gym sessions it seems a waste of the weather to be stuck inside a gym. There are so many ways you can work out without being inside and the fresh air and sunshine are just a bonus. Outdoor fitness comes in many forms and can be a fantastic option for people who hate being in the gym and/or don’t have the time to get to the gym - the outside is just a step away!
I will discuss the various options for outdoor exercise, but firstly, what are the benefits of taking your workout outside?
It’s free, and right outside your door! This is a huge bonus for people who tend to have a lot of barriers in the way of going to the gym - there’s no room for time, money or traffic excuses.
Outdoors is a constantly changing environment which is more challenging for your body. For example, when jogging outside the terrain is never as consistent as a treadmill, and therefore your body has to adapt and work harder to complete the same activities. A Fartlek program (randomised speeds and inclines) on the treadmill is designed to simulate outdoor running, but what could be better than simply going outside anyway!
Vitamin D - everyone needs this vitamin and getting outside for an hour is especially important for those with indoor day jobs. Vitamin D protects the body against cancer and heart disease, whilst also reducing depression and helping with type 2 diabetes.
Being amongst nature and breathing in clean, non filtered air is not only great for your body, but it is the perfect way to clear your mind and destress. A study has proven that those who took part in physical activity outside instead of in a gym positively experienced a 50% greater effect on their mental health.
It’s a great energy booster - just 20 minutes of working out outside is supposedly the equivalent to drinking one cup of coffee in terms of its energy-boosting effects.
So now you know why you should try and get a workout in outside, what can you actually do?
The obvious answer is to go for a run which is definitely a great option, however if you hate running, there are so many other options. Hiking or simply dog walking can definitely be a workout, as can gardening, washing the car or walking to the shop. For more of a structured workout, bodyweight exercises such as press ups, squat jumps and burpees can be mixed in with exercises using basic equipment. These can include step ups onto a bench or step, box jumps, split squats or even inverted rows from a fencing rail. Many of these could be done in your garden or any area of outdoor space, and lots of public parks now have outdoor exercise equipment designed specially. Any outdoor sport is without doubt one of the best forms of exercise for your physical and mental well-being; a fun game of tennis with friends doesn’t even feel like exercise! Lastly of course is an outdoor fitness class - we run an outdoor Bootcamp at Canterbury Rugby Club which is the perfect first step towards structuring your outdoor workouts.
Of course it’s important to choose sensible times of the day to workout outside, especially during the summer. Early morning or late evening are the perfect times as the temperature is cool and the fresh air in the morning will set you up for the day ahead. Remember to use sunscreen and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated though!
A common misconception is that Personal Trainers only work from the gym, and whilst this may be true for some, Sterling Fitness offers outdoor and/or home based PT sessions all over Canterbury and the surrounding areas, so get in touch with any Personal Training enquiries, be it in the gym or outside!