- Vitamin D! We all need this essential vitamin to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are used to keep our bones strong and teeth healthy.
- We have killer cells in our body - these little fighters help keep our immune strong, and nature i.e. plants, trees emit phytoncides, which not only protects themselves but may also help humans.
- Depressed, feeling low, under the weather? Exercising outdoors can help lift your mood even if you just take a walk and ease stress, you don't have to run - just a gentle jog or walk is enough to lift your mood.
- Its not boring! Working out in a gym, especially a treadmill is lets face it boring - unless you are doing a sprint programme. I like to use a programme outside, where I may sprint from one tree to the next, then jog to the next daffodil and walk to the next lamppost - it's easy to mix it up!
- Its how we are designed to move - our bodies are not designed to walk on a treadmill, many people exercise at a 0% incline - this is just not normal - outside equivalent is at least 1%. Add in some hills outside and watch your fitness improve. I bet your friend who only runs on a flat treadmill would struggle to do the same speed outside!
- Different terrain - okay so I recently had concussion and a smashed up jaw from falling down a concrete hill but, lesson learnt - outside you need to concentrate more, it makes you work out 'in the moment'. Also with different terrain i,e, mud etc you need to hold those stomach muscles in - result - stronger core.
- It saves time - just stick on a good pair of trainers (note I said good - make sure you get some right for your foot gait), and just get out the door - its always the first step outside which is the hardest.
- Its free - a major motivation - save on membership and splurge on treating yourself to some decent trainers.
- Mix it up - you don't have to run outside, look at walking, taking a skipping rope, use your kids park for a workout - i.e. tricep dips on benches, monkey bars and press ups can be done anywhere - throw in some squats and you have an amazing personal circuit outside!
- Cycle - okay I don't cycle outside but thats only because i have a fear of traffic.. stupid fear and one day I will book a cycling course to face that - in the meantime check out your local trails and get cycling - its fun and a great workout.
- Swim - open water swimming - last year I went swimming in some amazing UK beaches with the kids - yes it was freezing and yes the water was not like the sandy shores of Dubai - did I care - heck not it was exhilarating and still makes me smile.
- Elements of air, wind makes exercising outdoors harder!
- Even walking a dog for a couple hours a day - all good mood boosters, plus you get to meet other dog walkers.
- Finally there are some great clubs if you don't want to run alone - but if you do like to go alone, you won't be disturbed by people interrupting your routine, like they often do in the gym - just when I'm about to hit that sprint, its just luck that someone will come up to me and say 'hi Molly how are you' - treadmill sprint ruined and so has my motivation!
If you have any tips training let me know! I'm not knocking the gym - I do both and both offer their own advantages - just think good to get out and make the most of what God has given us for free!