Nothing beats getting out in the fresh air and completing a challenging workout in the natural elements and in this post I examine some of the reasons why I think it is so beneficial.
ESCAPE THE INDOORS
Research suggests that most of us spend 90% of our time indoors which is a pretty alarming. The human body and mind was never designed to spend 90% of its time secluded from the outdoor world, it is not right.
HIGHER LEVELS OF POST-EXERCISE ENDORPHINS
People who train outdoors experience higher levels of post exercise endorphins. Endorphins are endogenous opioid compunds that are produced in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus during exercise. They act as natural pain-relievers and produce a feeling of well being. The name endorphin derives from the words 'endogenous' and 'morphine' i.e a morphine like substance originating from within the body. Training outdoors has been associated with higher levels of these 'feel good' chemicals being produced in the body.
Fresh air is refreshing and invigorating. One theory suggests this is due to the rich negative ion content of fresh air. Negative ions have been linked to an improved sense of well being, increased alertness, decreased anxiety and a lower resting heart rate. Whether this is true or not matters not. The bottom line is getting outdoors in nature is energising, few would disagree.
VITAMIN D BOOST
Sunlight helps supply the body with Vitamin D, a 'superstar' nutrient which helps promote the absorption of calcium, provides strength to bones, reduces systemic inflammation and boosts the immune system. Sadly many of us, particularly in cooler climates fail to get enough sunlight and thus synthesise enough of this great vitamin.
Outdoor training allows you to perfrom exercise routines which are simply not possible in most gyms. Examples would include sprint training, obstacle courses and throwing.
There you go, 5 reasons why you should ditch the gym and get outdoors for your fitness sessions. What are you waiting for?