Move outdoors! : The benefits of exercising outside

These days, most people work in an office and spend most of their time indoors in air-conditioned building. So spending more “indoor time” at the gym after work might not be so appealing, especially once the warm weather starts and more of daily life is taking place outdoors.

Here are some health benefits to taking your workout outdoors:

  1. You burn more calories: The combination of fresh air and different types of uneven ground require greater effort from your body, meaning you burn more calories doing the same exercises as you would in the gym.
  2. Improvement of mental health: Studies have shown that tension, anger, depression, anxiety and stress decrease when working out outdoors, especially in green surroundings such as parks or forests. Nature has a calming effect on your body and mind.
  3. Vitamin D: Your body absorbs higher amounts of vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, which increases the strength of your immune system and is good for bone health as well as your metabolic functions.
  4. Happiness: The chemical seratonin is released in your brain through oxygen and makes you happier.
  5. Concentration and focus: Your ability to focus improves. A 2009 study has shown that just 20 active minutes outdoors is enough to increase concentration.

Added bonuses:

  1. Low cost: No gym membership fee to pay.
  2. Flexibility: You can work out anytime you like and are not limited by opening hours or class schedules.
  3. Motivation: When you are distracted by scenery, time goes much faster and you do not feel the effort you are making.
  4. Variety: You can choose a different place, such as a park, whenever you feel like it.
  5. Creativity: The workout possibilities are huge, and your imagination is the limit. You can work without equipment or bring small pieces of equipment. Do push-ups on a park bench, attach your TRX band to the closest tree, do pull-ups on a park fence, etc. You are not limited to using machines and your exercises can be multi-dimensional.

Don’t like to work out alone? Join us!

We’ve reached the height of summer, the weather is finally warm and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking for ways to exercise outdoors. It’s also much more fun to work out with other people. but if joining a sports team isn’t your thing, you may feel your options for doing so are limited.

In recent months, I’ve launched park workout sessions, held at lunchtimes and after work in Square de Meeûs and Parc Royal. Newcomers are always welcome and It’s a great way to fit in some exercise and fresh air at the same time.

Interested to learn more? Check out my Find a Workout page or email ninettefitness(at)gmail.com for more information.

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