I didn’t always intend to run my fitness classes outdoors but Covid meant there was no other choice for a while. Of course the gym is great and there are many benefits to a gym workout but I found my clients wanted to keep the classes outdoors even when indoors became viable again.
It’s fine to workout outdoors in bad weather, just wear the right clothing. If you are adequately dressed, sweating in the great outdoors with the rain dancing on your skin can feel exhilarating and bring a real sense of achievement. In the winter, you burn more calories in the cold too. Then you go home to a nice hot bath and the after glow of all the health benefits an outdoor workout brings.
New research has revealed that 50% of UK adults spend less than an hour outside each day and 70% would like to spend more time outside (Lindahls 2019). I am planning to open my own performance gym for one to one training but I would still aim to take part of my sessions outside so that my clients get the benefits of this too.
During lockdown my most memorable workouts were early morning outdoors – sunrise, birdsong, the colours and smells of a new day- not only did I feel good physically, I felt great mentally.
Here are my top three reasons for working out outdoors
1/ Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin essential for us to have a healthy immune system and strong bones and it comes to us from sunshine. The winter can be long and dark so sunlight when you can get it is important.
2/ It’s good for your mental health
Fresh air and nature have proven positive effects on your mental well-being. When you exercise you release endorphins which are chemicals produced naturally by your nervous system which help combat stress and low mood. So endorphins and outdoors combined are a great way to improve your mental health
3/ It can be a bit different
Anyone who has worked with me knows I’m not traditional! I’ve found I can bring my creative and philosophical side to coaching into my outdoor classes and sessions. I think it can also make you feel pretty bad ass! There is more space to move around and I have made use of trees, benches, football posts, steps and even a flying fox! You can vastly improve your strength and fitness with bodyweight exercises although on dry sessions I will bring dumbbells, Kettlebells and other equipment into the classes.
Finally here is a simple leg based 15 minute park workout to try
Do each exercise for 40 seconds then a 20 second recovery. Try three rounds. Feel free to message me for form advice.
Bench step ups