GET OUT OF THE GYM AND INTO THE OUTDOORS
If you frequently workout at a gym or inside your house, there are good reasons to move your workout outdoors. Granted, outdoor workouts can be challenging in extreme heat or cold but if the temperature is mild and comfortable, a change of scenery can keep you motivated as well as challenge your body in a whole new way.
Obviously if you’ve visited us for a fitness vacation, you know how much we love to use the outdoors as our gym. We love using our beach, local parks and even the outside space by one of the pools is fantastic for working out. Fresh air and sunshine are great for your body, your mind and for a change of pace.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR WORKOUTS OUTSIDE
Balance + Uneven Surfaces – In normal life, we tend to walk on finished surfaces most of the time – hard wood, marble and tile floors. We rarely experience the uneven ground found outside. Outdoor workouts challenge your body in different ways because of these uneven surfaces. Your body will have to adjust to these types of surface by recruiting different muscles to help you balance. You’ll recruit your core as well as have the potential to increase the intensity of a workout outside. Did you know that the #1 reason why people roll an ankle is because of weakness? Foot and ankle strength are also formed as a result of uneven surfaces leading to a stronger lower body and better balance.
Become More Aware – Believe it or not, working out in the outdoors helps you become much more aware of your surroundings and how that relates to your body. Like I mentioned above, uneven surfaces are great to challenge and strengthen the body. Working out outside also starts to make you aware of what’s in front of you, to the side of you and whether or not you need to dodge people. You become aware of foot placement, how to move your body and how to react to things/objects in your path. It’s great for overall awareness of your surroundings but also for proprioception (knowing where you are in space and feeling ok with that – without having to hold on to something).
Vitamin D Production – Most people don’t get enough sunlight and therefore don’t produce enough Vitamin D. Did you know that Vitamin D decreases aches and pains, contributes to healthy brain function, and plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight? It’s a big deal! Vitamin D deficiency is common in people who are overweight. Outdoor workouts not only exercise your body but the exposure to sunlight provides an ample dose of Vitamin D. We’re not saying exercise outside all day long but a 30 minute workout in the morning with a little sunshine can do a body good.
Enjoy The Fresh Air and The Scenery – Is there any better reason to get outside for your workouts? How often do you really get outside and enjoy the fresh air, the green landscape or the sounds of your surroundings? Take your fitness to the outdoors and appreciate what nature has to offer. Breathe in the fresh air instead of that sweaty, heavy air of an enclosed gym. Don’t forget to harness the benefits of your seasons for working out. You might live in a hot environment which enables you to workout in the outdoors most of the year and possibly take advantage of water actives. Let’s say you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter – don’t forget to indulge in the cold winter activities like cross country skiing, skating, skiing, snow boarding, snow shoeing, etc. Embrace where you’re at and make it work for you!
Grab A Friend – This is one of my favorite reasons to get outside with workouts. It’s so nice to spend time with someone while you workout. Doing something active outside is a great time to grab a friend, partner or spouse to participate with you. Whether you’re taking a walk, hiking through the woods or paddle boarding, an outdoor activity is a great way to catch up or even bond. Enjoy the outdoors together as you talk, laugh and enjoy your way through an active experience.
BONUS: Avoid Gym Membership Fees – You may or may not live in an area where you can skip the gym altogether but if you do, you can cut your gym membership cost to $0 by taking all of your workouts outside. Now, if you can’t workout outside full time, a gym might even freeze your membership for months that you’ll want to spend all of your time in the sun. Whether you run, walk or participate in an outdoor boot camp group, it’s a nice change of pace to get out of the gym environment.
EXTRA BONUS: Outdoor workout Ideas – Here are just a few ideas of the many that involve working out outside.
Walking, Jogging or Running
Outdoor Boot Camp Programs
Running Club, Half Marathon or Marathon Training
Skiing or Cross Country Skiing
Resistance Band Workout
Pool Workout (strength or cardio)
Yoga In The Park, At The Beach or Paddle Board Yoga
Water Activites – Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Skiing, Wake Boarding
SUMMARY: TAKING YOUR WORKOUT OUTSIDE
Clearly working out outside is beneficial for many reasons. It’s good for strength and balance, proprioception and becoming more aware of your environment. It’s also great for health and Vitamin D production as well as a change of scenery and the social connection. Bottom line – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get outside with your workouts unless there are health or weather conditions that don’t permit you to go outside.
I encourage you to get out as much as you can and get creative with your workouts! Remember – workouts don’t have to be a typical “gym” workout. Being active counts and moving your body in different ways is a fantastic way to change things up.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.
Best In Health,
Margot + The Vita Vie Retreat Team