Everyone knows that exercise provides both mental and physical health benefits, but are there any additional benefits to outdoor exercise?
Turns out, there is!
Getting active, moving your body and being outdoors can produce exceptional results. If you’re looking to enhance your mood, save money and avoid the time and trouble of getting to the gym, look no further than an outdoor fitness group
Here are 5 benefits of getting your sweat on with Mother Nature.
1. Improved Mood and Reduced Depression
Exercising outdoors has been shown to provide a mental health boost beyond that of indoor gyms. Being active outdoors has been shown to reduce both anger and depression and also improve your general mood (Barton and Pretty, 2010).
Sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which also helps and fresh air has to be better than an air conditioned gym - doesn’t it?
2. Enhanced Self-esteem
Research suggests that as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise can improve self-esteem. Any outdoor location will do, but exercising in parks or near to water enhances this effect. Interestingly, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity shows equal improvements in self-esteem than high-intensity outdoor exercise, so whether you’re smashing out a PB or enjoying a sociable group exercise session, the benefits are all there. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise.
3. Low Cost
Price is often raised as one of the biggest factors prohibiting regular exercise. With the average gym membership in the UK now costing £40 per month and some as high as £250, the outdoor environment provides a low-cost solution for exercise enthusiasts and trainers alike.
4. Ease of Access
Lack of time is another common barrier to exercise. Unless you pay for the premium membership, you will be accessing the gym at the busiest period and queueing to use the equipment, showers and lockers. Taking advantage of the great outdoors can reduce these time constraints. Many outdoor areas include benches, trees, inclined roads and even designated exercise equipment, allowing for a variety of resistance-training exercises.
5. Connecting With Mother Nature
One of the greatest benefits of outdoor exercise lies in its inherent opportunity to connect with Mother Nature and the people and places in your community. Finish your workout with a quick social coffee, chat with your fellow outdoor enthusiasts and make some new friends. Exercising outdoors can also help you feel grounded, deepen your connection to your environment and enhance your appreciation for the beauty around you.
Get Out and Go!
Don’t let the prospect of outdoor activity scare you. If you’re new to exercise or just getting back into it, start with a beginner session or a somewhere that offers varying abilities groups. The most important thing is just to GET OUT, GET ACTIVE and GET FIT TODAY.
If you feel you are ready to join an outdoor exercise group, Get Fit Today has just launched in Abington Park, Northampton. We have sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 6.30-7.30pm and Sunday morning between 9.30-10.30am. Your first session is completely free, just pop along and join in.