The temperature is rising and there’s definitely a hint of Spring in the air – there’s no perfect time to get outside and get your blood pumping.
You don’t need us to keep telling you why exercise is important for your physical, mental and emotional health, but we do understand that some people struggle with motivation. If you know you should be exercising, but the thought of going to the gym feels you with dread, exercising outside might provide you with the perfect solution.
Reasons Why Exercising Outside is Great:
- It’s free
- It’s cheap
- Being outside gives you a good dose of Vitamin D
- Fresh air and oxygen stimulates the body and mind
- It reduces stress
- Choose your setting. Do you want green, open spaces or a cool, wooded area? Outside offers an array of possibilities to suit your mood!
There have been lots of studies showing the benefits on individuals undertaking physical activity outside and there have also been studies showing the importance of Vitamin D and its role in mental wellbeing. Vitamin D is predominantly known for its bone strengthening powers, but there have also been studies that show is plays an important role in preventing depression. While some studies have been inconclusive, many have shown that a majority of people suffering with clinical depression have very low levels of vitamin D, so get your trainers on and get outside if you’re feeling down in the dumps. Whatever the truth of the studies, only good things can come from moving around and getting some fresh air.
Exercising outside doesn’t even have to mean working out in the traditional sense. Yes, hiking, trekking and running are all fantastic, but if you’re starting from zero, it’s better to break yourself in gently so exercise becomes a permanent part of your life.
Outside Activities That Are Beneficial to Health:
Gardening for half an hour a day can burn up to a hundred and fifty calories (depending on the intensity of course), more if you’re doing things like lugging heavy materials around.
Walking might sound pretty obvious but just think about how much more we use the car these days, compared to twenty years ago. Many of us drive to work and have sedentary jobs sitting behind a desk. Try and think of ways you can get walking in as part of your regular day. Can you walk to work or walk part of the way? Maybe you could walk the school run, instead of driving, which is not only better for you, but for the kids too. It’s important to try and walk at a brisk pace if possible (hard with kids in tow, we know) in order to get your heart rate up and all that lovely, oxygenated blood pumping to your organs.
Another way is to incorporate a walk into your lunch break at work, or doing that small supermarket shop on foot. You’ll see and feel all of the amazing health benefits that exercise has within a couple of weeks, which is great motivation to move onto bigger challenges. And if you don’t want those bigger challenges? That’s perfectly fine too – just keep doing that one bit of exercise outside every day. Don’t stop. It’s a beautiful world out there, sometimes you just have to step outside to see it.