BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR EXERCISE

I think it’s safe to say a lot of people have rekindled their passion for exercising outdoors. We started with running when we were in the depths of lockdown and only allowed to complete one form of outdoor exercise. Then came the cycling, down to the seafront, around the island…or anywhere. It’s great to see Portsmouth taking quick action in the attempt to sustain the city’s cycling efforts by installing bike pumps around the city and making some roads more cycle-friendly, fantastic. We’ve then had the connection to the sea, with either an early morning dip or getting out on a paddleboard. 

Exercising outdoors is a great way to move the body, enjoy the outdoors and sometimes take in the sights or different areas of the city. It’s often great for a quick workout. It doesn’t rely on travel time to and from the gym. It’s great for weekends or evenings when you may not want to exercise in the heat of the midday sun…if we’re lucky. It’s also a great way to take in some fresh air.

While we know our facilities will not open until September, it does not stop us getting out there and keeping the activity levels high throughout the summer. We’ve set up a Strava Club so you can keep the competition going or just join an active community to share your runs with. We still have our Facebook live classes, which you could take in the garden or down the park…although if Lee is teaching take some wellies. However you want to keep the outdoor activities going, until our doors reopen.

We know that working out has both physical and mental benefits, but a simple change in location when you work out can enhance your results and keep your workouts fresh.

5 BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR WORKOUTS:

LOW COST – The garden, a local park or any safe outdoor space is all you need for a great outdoor workout. Even better with us having the home workout Hub, hit play and workout with us! However, always remember to check the area is safe for you to workout in before you start. 

PROVIDES MENTAL RELIEF – When able to workout outside it provides more of a play feel instead of a chore to get the workout done. Plus the change of scenery from the walls of our homes gives us a great break to reset and come back energised both physically and mentally from the workout. 

A NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANT – Outdoor workouts help ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), anxiety and depression as sunshine increases serotonin levels naturally, which is a hormone that affects mood. Also, exercise produces endorphins which are another feel-good hormone to boost mood and reduce pain. 

CHALLENGES YOUR BODY – Working out on a flat surface in a gym is great, but the mixed terrain of exercising outside challenges your body more, enhancing your outdoor workouts and your results. 

ENHANCES SELF-ESTEEM – Activities shown to improve self-esteem are walking, cycling, horse riding and fishing and that’s just naming a few! Outdoor locations near greenery or water have been known to provide the biggest boost to self-esteem. Low – moderate-intensity exercise provides the greatest improvement to self-esteem. So adding a regular dose of outdoor exercise will give a powerful mood-boosting extra to your exercise.

GETTING STARTED:

CLOTHING – There is no bad weather, just bad preparation. A wet rainy day can be great for running in, but it can also be difficult to rewarm if you stay out. Likewise, heading out in a jumper can cause you to overheat shortly after starting a run in the sun. It’s better to wear several layers and control your heat by removing them than not being prepared. You should, however, manage this based on your expected exercise time and duration you’re going to be exercising for.

SUN PROTECTION – remember your SPF, sunglasses and a hat, regardless of skin tone. Also if you ‘start to feel queasy, seek shade immediately’  

RUNNING OR WALKING SHOES WITH GOOD SUPPORT – this will help support the body from injury. 

WATER – when outside a great rule to follow is to take on 4 to 6 sips of water every 15-20 minutes. 

Outdoor exercise can provide you with environmental variety, stress relief and sunshine (sometimes), helping you to feel great. So keep enjoying the outside exercise, even when the gyms reopen.

WE’VE CREATED SOME WORKOUT PLANS THAT ARE FREE TO USE, OR YOU CAN TAKE PART IN OUR FACEBOOK LIVE CLASSES. BOTH CAN HELP IMPLEMENT EXERCISE INTO YOUR ROUTINE.