In an effort to help you soak in the final weeks of summer and be your happiest self, we encourage you to skip the gym and take your workouts outside this month. Run a few miles around your neighborhood, take on that trail you’ve been meaning to try, or flow through a yoga sequence at a nearby park. There’s no wrong way to do it, as long as you’re outside and having fun.
Here are 4 great benefits to exercising outdoors:
1. You burn more calories when you exercise outside
Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors. In addition, slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown. So, basically, doing nothing different but taking your workout outside makes it LOADS more effective. Amazing!
2. Outdoor workouts are awesome for your mood
Numerous pieces of research show a clear connection between spending time outdoors and a reduction in stress. Plus, fresh air and increased oxygen helps release the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin – meaning your outdoor training sessions not only help keep you fit and healthy, they put you in a fantastic mood, too!
3. The scenery stops you from getting bored
No matter how much you love Kelly Ripa, watching day time television from the cross trainer does get a bit dull… The beauty of exercising outdoors is the space you’re in. Running through different scenery means you have a lot to look at, so you’re less likely to get bored and end up exercising for longer, almost by accident. Not only that, when it’s sunny who wants to be cooped up in a gym?
4. You can tone your whole body, for free!
You may not notice it on first glance, but parks are FULL of things that will help you tone muscle. Hill sprints are a great way of getting maximum results, particularly as sprinting is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. Short, sharp bursts of movement at an incline will help push you to the limit while also building and toning muscle. Plus, local parks and green spaces are home to a wide range of objects that can double up as exercise equipment. Take a park bench – you can do tricep dips or step-ups. Even a tree can enhance your workout: try some explosive jumps where you aim to hit a high branch – get creative!