Working out outdoors may offer several benefits when compared to indoor workouts. The main reason is for one to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. By staying in the sunshine, serotonin is produced which is an antidepressant hormone and there is also an increase in vitamin D levels. Apart from this, mental relief is also obtained by changing the scenery and having time for oneself outdoors.
Time to Unwind
This shift alleviates us from the daily pressures and anxieties and helps us to take the time to calm down and temporarily detach from the things that are worrying us or impacting us negatively. Another aspect of working out outdoors is that one can challenge and push the body further as there are different conditions to take into consideration, such as inclines, terrain, level of exertion, and weather conditions.
Enjoyment Over Exertion
Thus, an outdoor training session can provide a higher calorie burn, targeting different muscle groups or even the intensity of the exercise if running uphill for example, or sprinting on the sand, etc. On the other hand, even though outdoor training may be as effective as an indoor training session, the perceived level of exertion would be less whilst the level of enjoyment would be more and thus one is more likely to commit to this regime. Finally, the most practical aspect of working out outdoors is that there are no financial expectations.
Which outdoor spots are ideal for workouts?
For this blog, we will be considering bodyweight workouts and cardio exercises.
Public Sports Tracks
Long runs, interval running and sprints are a great way to include rigorous, or less intense, aerobic activities. Apart from running on a track, trail running or road running where it is safe to do so and away from traffic and exhaust fumes is a great way to engage in sports outdoors.
Working out on a sandy beach means that your body needs to work harder to maintain balance and stability on a surface that keeps shifting and on which it is difficult to create perfect contact. Apart from this, swimming offers a workout with no impact on the joints and can be mixed in with the workout.
Playgrounds and Parks.
Playgrounds and parks offer several obstacles or props to use for a workout; benches can be used to step up on or to perform inclined push-ups, monkey bars and balance bars can also provide the space to focus on upper and lower body training.
Stairs can be a very versatile challenge; one can sprint up and then jog back down, carrying weights up and down the stairs. If the stairs are wide enough one can incorporate jumps, squats, and a number of other exercises that benefit from the elevation of the steps.
Rock Wall Climbing Spots
Although this can’t be done alone, by joining other climbers, rock wall climbing is an excellent way to work out the upper body and focus on body weight techniques.
Obviously, this is a small list of the opportunities one can engage with outdoors, and one needs to keep in mind to be safe and to make sure that enough water and sun protection is applied. When starting it is also a good idea to find the support of fellow sportspersons who would support and encourage you in your fitness journey.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Abigail Church is a Humanistic Integrative Counsellor who works with adults and children through counselling with Willingness. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817