Want to get in shape? Considering a gym membership or an aerobics video? Doesn’t it sound a lot more appealing to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight for a while?
There’s a reason that your body is trying to send you this message. These instincts are pointing you toward a healthier way to exercise. Nature is the ultimate gym and healthy training facility.
There are ways to make exercising outside the best experience possible, while also avoiding some of the hazards that may come along with it throughout the different seasons of the year. After all, if you know how to make the most of your workouts in the great outdoors, you can stay safe and get into the best shape of your life.
Want to dive into the main benefits of getting your workouts in while surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty, and while breathing in fresh air? Consider the following 5 reasons that you might want to skip the stale indoor air and head on out for exercising outside, instead.
1. You’ll work out for a longer period of time when exercising outside
When you go outside instead of trapping yourself in a gym, you’ll be shocked at how much more quickly the time flies. Looking at the scenery, enjoying the breeze, changing your running route, and even smiling at people as you go by can help to alleviate the dreaded boredom that is all too often associated with workouts. For that reason, you’ll be more likely to stay out longer and get in those extra minutes that can make all the difference.
2. You could burn more calories when exercising outside
When you’re stuck in the same routine at the gym, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Your body knows precisely what it should expect from any given routine or exercise. Heading outside has varied terrains, obstacles, and walking surfaces that can all “shake things up” for your body. When you factor in days when the wind is barely existent and when it is virtually gale-force, you’ll keep things different enough that your body won’t “settle” and you’ll burn more calories.
3. You’ll save hundreds of dollars if you take up exercising outside
Gym memberships may not seem like much when you’re paying for them one time every month, but it adds up. Among Americans, 85 percent with gym memberships pay up to $600 per year. The remaining 15 percent pay even more than that! Even if you buy yourself the best running shoes on the market, you still won’t come anywhere near that total.
4. Outdoor activity is a natural mood booster
Regardless of whether the weather is lousy or gorgeous, when you have a workout outside, your body naturally releases more endorphins, which gives you a sense of wellbeing. This is simply from being in the fresh air. This not only helps to lower stress but it motivates you to try harder.
5. You’ll be healthier when you exercise outside
Gyms may be better for you than not working out at all, but they’re swimming in bacteria and germs. Sweat and recycled air combined with shared equipment, showers, and change rooms are the ideal circumstances for bacteria growth. Outside, there is far less chance of picking up any viruses that are going around.
Exercising Outside Safety Tips
Sure, you can get hurt if you exercise at the gym or even in the comfort of your own home, but there are additional, and different, hazards that you might end up encountering when you are exercising outside. These should definitely be considered before you head out there to get your workout in, so we have compiled a few tips on how to stay healthy, regardless of the time of year that you are exercising outside.
According to Huffpost, there are several steps that you can take to help ensure your safety while working out in the great outdoors. Those include:
- Keeping your cell phone with you at all times, in case you need to make an emergency phone call
- Keeping a form of ID on you as well, just in case anything happens
- Knowing the area that you will be exercising in, or heading out with a partner
- Letting a loved one know that you’ll be heading outside to exercise
- Avoiding wearing any expensive jewelry while you are outside exercising
Other tips include:
- Dressing for the weather conditions. For example, in the winter, you want to avoid frostbite, so cover your skin appropriately. But, wear layers too, so that you can remove layers if you start to feel overheated.
- Wear sunscreen throughout the year to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that are appropriate for your workout and the terrain that you’ll be working on.
- Wear reflective clothing, particularly if you are going to be working out during the evening or at night.
Exercising Outside: So Many Benefits, So Much Fun!
If you need some motivation to work out, consider exercising outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy all of the benefits.