The Benefits Of Training Outdoors
If you choose to train outdoors at one of our fitness camps in West London, Middlesex or Surrey then you’re making a very wise investment in your overall health and wellbeing. There are benefits to outdoor workouts that you simply can’t get from the gym. Training outside brings with it mental clarity, relaxation, and of course fresh air. A chance to forget about work, kids and the general stresses of day to day life, and just have a bit of time for yourself, which is so vitally important.
There are countless articles online that explain the many, many benefits of outdoor workouts, a fantastic article by MindBodyGreen listed six major benefits to working out outside.
1. You’ll get happier.
Think you need a lush forest or a nearby beach to reap the benefits of outdoor exercise? Think again. A 2015 study out of Stanford University found that students who walked through a campus park for an hour were less anxious than those who didn’t, and a study published last year found that simply looking at pictures of greenery improves happiness. In other words, all you need is a few trees and a sturdy pair of shoes for a mood boost. Plus, people who exercise outside actually enjoy it more.
So you get happier, less anxious and enjoy the experience more! When you think about how important attitude and mindset is when it comes to sticking to a fitness regime you can easily see what a massive advantage this is.
2. You’ll get a stronger workout in.
While running inside on a treadmill is infinitely better than not exercising at all, you’ll likely get a stronger workout in if you take it outside. In a study on running indoors versus outdoors, researchers found that outdoor exercisers exert more energy to cover the same amount of distance as treadmill runners, indicating that if the goal is physical fitness, outdoor workouts are the way to go.
When you have a busy life and limited time to exercise, nothing is more important than efficiency. Anything you can do to increase the effective of your workout and get more done in less time is absolutely crucial to success.
3. Your immune system will get stronger.
If you haven’t heard of forest bathing, you’re missing out. The decades-old Japanese practice encourages people to get outside and take a walk in nature not just for the mental health benefits but because it improves the immune system. “Trees shower (or bathe) themselves in an antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial compound called phytoncides,” explains Ben Page, founder of Shinrin Yoku LA. “This is how trees combat disease. When humans inhale these phytoncides, it triggers the human body to produce a specialized white blood cell called NK cells, or Natural Killer cells.” These NK cells then attack cancerous and tumorous growths in the body, improving immune strength.
It’s perfectly possible to be physically fit and strong yet still be susceptible to ill health and a general lack of wellness. If you take your health seriously then it has to be about more than just looking good and losing weight. What greater benefit could you ask for than disease prevention?
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4. You’ll improve your heart health and lower your blood pressure.
Want to live longer? Outdoor exercise can help with that. A study published in PubMed found that immersing yourself in nature lowers cortisol, pulse rate, and blood pressure. That’s an impressive fix.
Again, if you’re going to look beyond short term quick fixes then you’ll want to find a holistic approach to health that gives you real benefits for life. There are few more important measures than cortisol levels, pulse rate and blood pressure.
5. Your social life will skyrocket.
Here’s one benefit of outdoor exercise that often gets ignored: If you’re exercising outside, you’re more likely to do it in a group. Think hikes, running groups, and after-dinner walks with your partner. When one Austrian study found that people enjoy outdoor workouts more, psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, psychotherapist and author ofBetter Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love,said this finding was probably related to the fact that people in the study worked out with others. “Social interactions also lessen stress and increase happiness.
This is one that is absolutely key to our approach at TRIBE Outside, if you’ve never worked out as part of a group before then you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes, when you’re having a bad others will get you through it and when you’re feeling on top of the world you get to help the ones who are struggling. Working out like this is a revelation if you’ve never done it before.
6. You’re less likely to get injured.
Here’s a surprising one: People who take their exercise outside are less likely to suffer from injury. The repetitive pounding on a treadmill with no change in terrain can be tough on the body, leading to overuse injuries. When people run outside, they’re more likely to flex their ankles more and be met with downhill terrain, leading to stronger, more resilient muscles overall.
If you’re going to make significant improvements to your strength, fitness and general wellbeing then consistency is key and nothing gets in the way of consistency more than injuries. If you can stay injury free then you can make continuous improvements, and that’s the real secret to success.
So there you have it, six amazing reasons to get outside and join one of our amazing outdoor fitness programmes.