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How to boost your workouts by exercising outdoors

Working out, in general, is great. Let’s face it, in this day and age, when many jobs include sitting down, working out is incredibly desirable. However, did you know that even a change of location of your exercises can mean a lot? Because we are always cooped up in offices, sometimes, we need to go out and do as much as we can outdoors. Exercising outdoors can have many benefits for both one’s psychological and physical health. Here’s how to boost your workouts by exercising outdoors.

Benefits of exercising outdoors

Some people prefer working out at home. Others like to go to the gym, to try out different devices or get help from professional trainers. However, sometimes people, no matter how determined to exercise, feel the need to “switch it up.” Perhaps they are looking for a bit of excitement. However, even if they simply need a change of pace, exercising outdoors can be the solution. There are numerous ways exercising outdoors can boost your workouts, and here’s how.

It’s great for motivation

If you’re dedicated to working out, that’s honestly great. It’s truly admirable that you’ve managed to create a workout routine. It’s terrific if you’ve hired a personal trainer to help you during your workouts. That shows dedication and perseverance and is highly commendable. However, after a while, sometimes you may feel your enthusiasm dwindling. There may be no particular reason for that. It may be that you simply feel less enthusiastic about going to the gym or working out at your home. And that’s perfectly fine.

Then, changing “the scenery” might be the thing that you need. It can offer you the motivation that you need for your workouts. For instance, you can explore your city on your daily run every day. You can check out a different park for your yoga workouts. Anything is possible!

People running on a dirt road
Exercising outdoors can be the motivation you need

Many benefits for your mental health

In addition to being great for motivation, outdoor exercising has many benefits for your mental health. It is proven that spending time outdoors, in general, improves mood. It even has positive effects on depression and reduces anger. Experts believe that this is due to exposure to sunlight, which increases vitamin D production. And, as we all know, vitamin D has many benefits for our health. Even short exercise outdoors can have a significant impact on your mental health.

Also, just looking at nature increases serotonin levels and decreases cortisol levels. Serotonin, in turn, improves your mood. Cortisol is responsible for the feeling of stress, which is why it is good to have a little of it as possible.

Also, all that oxygen when exercising outdoors

The air circulating in the gym or your house is not that great, actually. It’s mostly stale. At least in gyms, you have vents that try to improve its quality. But, be honest, how many times have you remembered to crack open a window during exercise? However, when we forget such a thing as cracking open a window, we are somewhat depriving our body of something it truly needs to function – oxygen.

When we exercise outdoors, we inhale more fresh air, which has many advantages. The added oxygen that we inhale improves our metabolism, actually. That means that you’re more likely to lose weight from exercising outdoors than constantly exercising indoors! Also, oxygen is necessary for our muscles. That is something you should keep in mind the next time you decide where you’d like to exercise.

A forest road
Fresh air is incredibly good for your health

A full body workout

When you exercise in a gym or at home, you tend to work some of the muscles more than others. Sometimes we tend to forget about one group of muscles while we concentrate on another. However, that can lead to problems with joints and muscles later on in life.

But, when you’re working out outside, your entire body is involved. For instance, when you run outdoors, you have no choice but to engage your entire body. Doing body-weight exercises outdoors means you will have to use your entire body as a single unit. Also, you are precluding problems that can develop later. You can read on some full-body home workout tips if you need a head start! Now just translate them into an outdoor space, and you’re set!

Added variety

When you’re exercising outdoors, you’re actually opening the door to creativity. You can be creative with the types of workouts you have and with the location. For instance, one day, you can choose to workout at one outdoor gym, while you can use another one the next day. And each outdoor gym has some specific devices that you can check out.

Even running outdoors brings in more variety to your workouts than in a gym. When running on a treadmill, most people simply shuffle through the speeds. Even if you choose some mode that will switch between terrains and speeds, you know what to expect and you’re prepared. However, that is not the case with exercising outdoors. One minute, you’re running through a nice park, and the next, you’re going up and down on hills. You run around the corner, and then you have to jump across a log or some other thing on the floor. Then, you come across the stairs. This all adds variety to your running routine that you simply can’t get in a gym.

Woman jumping from one hill to another during sunset
Exercising outdoors adds variety to your workouts

Additional things to consider before exercising outdoors

There are a few instances when you should definitely consider not exercising outdoors. For instance, smelling all that fresh air is so satisfying and good for your body, but only if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions. Sometimes this can trigger breathing problems or allergies. It is best to discuss this move with your doctor in case you’re worried something like this can happen. In case your doctor says you can’t engage in strenuous activity outdoors, then try to do something relatively easy, like a walking exercise. It is not as strenuous as a full body workout, but it is enough.

Also, don’t exercise in places where there’s heavy traffic or where you feel unsafe. It is important that you’re at ease during your workouts for the best boost.

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