In my opinion, any form of training is a good thing.
Regularity and longevity of training programmes is what matters most so, I say, choose what you feel you can commit to and keep up. If it works for you, it’s more likely to work.
Some people like going to the gym and some not so much. Thankfully there is a very viable alternative to going to the gym and that is to take your exercising into the great outdoors.
We are all now very aware of the very positive effect that training can have on mental health. Exercise produces endorphins -those fabulous feel-good chemicals which put you in a good mood and give you an overall feeling of happiness, as well as reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Exercising outdoors can actually increase the feel-good factor of your training programme (whether you choose to be there for every session or just intersperse it with visits to the gym) and here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Glorious sunlight
Our bodies contain higher levels of Serotonin when we are in sunshine. Serotonin impacts on most parts of the body – as well as being a mood stabiliser, it helps with eating, digesting, healing, good bone health and sleeping too. What’s more, the UV rays of the sun striking our skin stimulates the production of Vitamin D, another recognised mood enhancer with added physiological benefits (improving bone density, metabolism, the immune systems and inflammation).
- Fresh air
Just about the only good thing to come about from Covid is the fact that we think more about the air we breathe and what it contains. When indoors, we are breathing recirculated air and are at the mercy of the air conditioning or ventilation. If the system is super-efficient the air may be clean, but it certainly won’t have the same level of purity as the fresh air outside. A recent Environmental Protection Agency report suggests that indoor air is generally more polluted than outdoor air (even in built-up areas).
- Forest bathing
Yes, it’s a thing!! In Japan they believe that Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku) is a way to reduce Cortisol levels in the bloodstream. The Japanese (and many leading scientists) believe being out amongst the trees surrounded by nature, not only reduces this stress-causing hormone, but also has a very positive effect on self-esteem.
- Natural resistance
When you’re in the gym, you know exactly what you are getting within your work-out. You set your resistance level and off you go. When you are outside you have a few additional variables which nature provides (free of charge), including weather, uneven surfaces, inclines and declines. During a training session your body will constantly adapt to these – the equivalent of another mini workout in your main workout!
It's difficult not to be impressed when you consider the many great benefits to be enjoyed when you take all or some of your training programme outside. I, for one, believe that it can take exercising to another level and I love the idea of that.
If you’d like to chat about having a tailored programme from a Personal Trainer who embraces every advantage upon your behalf and considers good physical and mental well-being as Goal #1, then get in contact today. Spring is just around the corner – what better time to get outdoors?
EPA link - https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality