The general population spends a lot of time indoors for work and when they’re not working, they’re often exercising inside at a gym. If a person works full-time and spends at least an hour at the gym five days a week, that’s at least 45 accounted for hours spent inside. What if you used those five gym hours to get outside and breathe in some fresh air?
There’s nothing like time spent outside to rejuvenate your mind and body. Even if you don’t identify as someone who’s “one with nature,” you may find that shaking up your workout routine by training outdoors could have many unexpected perks for your fitness routine. Here are five of the benefits of outdoor training that may have you swapping your lifters for trail shoes.
Outdoor Training Can Provide A Natural Challenge You’re Willing To Take
When you’re training outside, you don’t get to pick the temperature or terrain, so sometimes there are unexpected challenges that crop up on your run or during your HIIT session that you wouldn’t normally face in a gym setting. Have you ever been running and needed to scale a steep incline to get to your final destination? It feels like you really accomplished something when you’re able to look behind you and literally see how far you’ve come. Also, when the temperature is on the warmer side, you actually burn more calories, although you should be very cautious of heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.
Outdoor Training Means You Can Practice Like You Play
If you’re training for an outdoor sport, it only helps your game play to practice like you play. Training outside will give you the edge you need to move great on the field. This is particularly true if you live in a location where you can train outdoors at a high elevation. Training outdoors, especially when you’re at a high elevation, requires your body to work harder and build greater stamina. That way, playing will become easier as your body adapts to different terrains, elevations and conditions.
For thrifty fitness, just train outside! You won’t have to pay monthly gym fees and it won’t smell like sweaty socks! You can buy some basic equipment that can be used outside if you need it or stick with bodyweight workouts. Keep your equipment simple. You can still train hard without a lot of props.
Outdoor Brings Unexpected Joy To Your Workout Routine
Working out inside can be monotonous and put a damper on the pleasure of fitness. It’s been found that outdoor training can actually help you commit and enjoy your workout, because the views are more interesting. Not to mention, exercising outdoors allows you more flexibility to bring your furry friends along, or to get a workout out playing a fun game with your friends and family.
In an experiment reported on by the New York Times, a group of volunteers recorded their moods and the level of difficulty they experienced while hiking three hours through the Alps, and then taking the same simulated hike inside on treadmills. Across the board, the test subjects found the hike through the mountains less strenuous with increased mood scores, even though the mountain hiking was objectively more difficult than the treadmill. If the workout is more enjoyable, you’re more likely to commit to the regular exercise you need to stay fit and on top of your training.
Outdoor Training Is Good For Your Mental Health
Everyone could use a boost in mood. Exercise releases serotonin which makes you feel happier, and being outside gives you the added benefit of absorbing Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is directly linked to improving mood disorders, so if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, taking a walk could help alleviate those symptoms. The outdoors is also often peaceful. Finding a little zen in your outdoor training can carry you through the rest of your day.
Exercising outside doesn’t mean that you can’t still get the personal attention and expertise of a trainer. Prevail’s remote personal training allows you to work with a specialist who can craft your workout routines based on your exercise interests. Coaches can take your preference to commune with nature into consideration when they create your training program. That way you’ll reap all of the benefits of outdoor training while still working with someone who will push you to do your best.
Have any questions? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you train!