Who’s ready for the summertime? I can’t wait spend my days outside under blue skies and warm sunshine. I’ve almost forgotten what a long evening stroll feels like.
Indoor exercise can be a lot of fun. Dance workout DVDs were great when I lived in a house, but now I live in a top floor flat and I’m not sure my downstairs neighbour would appreciate my daily dance-a-thons to Eric Prydz Call on Me.
No, these days my workouts are less aerobic and more about staying flexible: Lots of stretching and a couple of basic yoga moves. As a result, my stamina has dropped drastically and I find myself breathless after a quick walk to the shop!
It’s going to be tough at first to make the transition from indoor to outdoor, but there are plenty of good reasons to take your workout outside.
The benefits of exercising outside
The most obvious benefit for outdoor exercise is that great, giant ball of plasma in the sky that helps us produce vitamin D.
During the dark British winter months, many of us become vitamin D deficient as a result of staying indoors so often. This is something you need to avoid as a deficiency can cause all kinds of horrible symptoms from brain fog and confusion to bone fractures. To prevent this I’ve been taking Vitabiotics Vitamin D between autumn and spring for years.
It’s true that both outdoor and indoor workouts come with their own benefits, but if you’re prone to depression, anxiety, or have been through a lot of stress recently, then stepping outside has been scientifically proven to help fight symptoms.
For those of you with little ones, it might interest you to know that UK children are some of the most house bound children in the world. Given what we know about the positive impact that nature and outdoor play can have on children, it’s worth turning at least a few of your summertime workouts family events.
Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag
One of the best things about outdoor fitness is that it’s so cheap! Most of what you need is likely tucked away in a drawer somewhere so no need to splurge on expensive kit or memberships.
To get started there is only really one essential item you need, and that’s a good pair of trainers (my favourites are here). I’d suggest buying a good pair of all-rounder’s. Something you can run, walk and cycle in.
Next, it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight jacket or hoody in a bag because we all know how quickly British weather can turn nasty. A supportive sports bra is essential if you’re planning to up the pace of your workout, and especially if you’re packing up-top. Boob-bounce can lead to injury and back pain. 2 things we can do without!
How to enjoy outdoor exercise:
What’s not to love about the great outdoors? The real problem here is motivation. That’s where other people come in.
Exercising with friends has so many benefits over exercising alone. Not only can they give us a push when we’re feeling lazy, but science says that when you exercise with other people you can actually get fitter than when exercising alone.
Grab your other half or a friend and head out of town for the day. Go for a hike in your local countryside, or take a couple of yoga mats to the beach.
Speaking of the beach, many beaches have local water sports activities clubs. Surfing for example is great for improving balance and can burn around 200 calories an hour. If you don’t fancy getting too wet then how about flying a kite? No seriously. You could burn 500 calories an hour!
Not a people person? No worries. There are thousands of apps and online sports communities that can motivate you. My favourite is one you’ve probably heard of; My Fitness Pal, and there are hundreds of motivational Facebook groups to join. These are great ways to keep tabs on your progress too. Especially if you link a mobile or wearable device.
So tell me, what’s your favourite outdoor exercise? I love hiking but have always wanted to try roller blading and surfing. Let’s see what summer 2017 brings shall we?