Adding Outdoor Workouts to Your Routine
It’s no secret that exercise has a ton of benefits for both physical and mental health. Gym sessions, outdoor workouts, or a walk on the treadmill can all have a positive impact on your overall health. But, where you choose to exercise can provide different benefits that you may not expect.
There are numerous reasons to take your exercise outdoors. It could be a beautiful day outside with perfect weather. You could be looking to shake things up and try a different type of workout. Maybe you’re looking for a change of scenery or just longing for some fresh air.
Regardless of the reason, adding in some outdoor workouts can have more benefits than you might think.
Benefits of Outdoor Workouts
Studies have shown that there are a ton of benefits to outdoor workouts, and not only on your physical or mental health. From reducing stress, to sleeping better, and even giving your immune system a boost. Here are 3 benefits of outdoor workouts.
- Cost Efficiency
One of the greatest, and often overlooked, benefits to getting some exercise outside is that it costs virtually nothing (aside from your training gear and transportation, if needed) and has a very low barrier to entry. All you need to do is step outside. No membership or monthly payment required. No operating hours. Just anytime access that works whenever it fits into your schedule.
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- It’s Good For Your Body
Depending on the type of workout you’re doing, outdoor workouts can provide you with constant shifts in terrain type and elevation. This requires your body to be more engaged. This can give your body a more challenging workout while also helping to strengthen muscles and improve balance, which can lower the risk of injury as well.
Outdoor workouts can also feel less demanding and quicker than indoor exercise. Going for a walk or run through your neighborhood has been reported to feel less draining and more enjoyable than the same time or distance spent on a treadmill. This can cause a perceived feeling of less effort exerted but actually result in a higher output.
- It’s Good For Your Mind
Wellness isn't just your physical health. A greater emphasis is being placed on mental health today, as it should. Exercising in general can have a tremendous impact on an individual’s mental well-being and being outdoors has its own benefits for mental health. By getting in an outdoor workout session, you are combining elements of each and boosting your mental state.
Releasing endorphins isn't the only mental benefit of exercising outside. Exercising in a constantly changing environment, such as hiking in the woods, gives your mind a workout too. It requires you to stay focused on your surroundings and sometimes make quick, reactionary decisions. Not only does your body have to be engaged during your workout, but you need mental focus to adjust and adapt to conditions outside of a controlled environment.
Ideas for Outdoor Workouts
There are endless options for workouts you can do outside. Depending on what is near you or what you’re in the mood for, here are a few ideas to get you moving outdoors that can be done virtually anywhere and with low cost requirements:
Running or walking is an incredibly popular outdoor activity and a great form of cardio. As an activity that can be done solo, with a partner, or in a group, running or walking can seem easier when adding the social element.
Walking is a great introductory activity when starting your fitness journey or looking to maintain some activity with low risk of injury, but still presents many health benefits. Walking and running allows an individual to pick their own pace, distance, and time duration for their workout. As you progress in your physical level and want to start challenging yourself, you can start working to improve your run to shave time and add distance, especially for competitive runners.
A favorite pastime for many outdoor enthusiasts, going for a hike is another excellent outdoor workout. The changes in elevation and more uneven terrain can lead to higher heart rate and burn more calories than a traditional walk or run on an even surface. The uneven terrain also requires you to constantly shift weight to keep balance, which can help build more muscle mass in your legs and increase stability.
Just like the name implies, all you need for these circuits is your body. All you need is yourself and the power of gravity to fit in a great exercise anywhere. There are plenty of moves that can be done, depending on if you’re looking for more cardio or strength training in your workout.
Here are a few awesome bodyweight exercises that you can add into your workout:
- Squats or Lunges
So no matter what the reason, taking your workout outdoors and exercising outside can be a great way to change things up in your routine and provide some additional benefits to your indoor workouts. And if you’re looking for a new pair of kicks that can handle your workout, grocery runs, and even work for your office, check out our full lineup!