Just about everything good that we get from exercise gets better when we do it outdoors. Natural light generates essential vitamin D, improves our mood, and, for many, it can be a turning point that refreshes their commitment to fitness and returns them to a positive outlook. Uneven terrain exercises the sense of balance, and the body’s response to those subtle signals brings muscles into play that might have ducked your indoor regimen.
Worth the Effort
The stimulation our senses receive from exercising outdoors is a natural antidote for the numbing effect that comes from spending a large percentage of our time indoors. Choose to simply move your routine to a site outdoors, run or walk to and from your chosen spot, or try a traveling workout in which you stop at intervals for the exercises of your choice as you walk or run in between.
No matter which style you choose, staying aware of your environment is important for safety and usually that means skipping the ear buds. Music and motivational recordings have their place, but outdoors requires the awareness that all your senses provide, especially if you run or walk alongside streets or roads. Always walk on the side that has you facing traffic; this way you can add your own watchfulness to the safety equation, rather than relying only on the attention of motorists.
Protecting the Skin
Adding “outdoor days” to your exercise routine calls for some other precautions, too. They are surprisingly easy, but not to be overlooked.
Sunscreen and hats are essential exercise accessories when we move outdoors because for all its benefits, the sun is a mixed blessing. Protecting ourselves from premature aging and skin cancer calls for applying sunscreen routinely before heading out and adding a hat to the exercise outfit. And sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection are a good idea.
Fun and Fitness
Of course, working out outdoors is just one of the possibilities. Outdoor play is possibly the most time-honored form of outdoor exercise, and it spans a spectrum that runs from tennis to golf to swimming to biking, kayaking, and skating, just to name a few. New ideas for what to do for exercise outdoors are as abundant as the benefits; the web is full of lists. Shape Magazine has an interesting list of outdoor workout ideas that focuses on the new and engaging.
Just as any sports team would start the season with physical exams, wouldn’t it make sense to check your fitness starting point as this outdoor season hits its stride? Heading outdoors is a good time to reassess your fitness level and goals, and we can help with that. Each member of our team of personal trainers is experience, accomplished, and committees to identifying a path to wellbeing that begins with your abilities and achieves your own unique goals.