Throughout the pandemic, many of us had to get creative to stay fit and healthy without access to gyms or leisure centres. After spending a lot of time at home, many people took their workouts outside, either in their gardens, at the local park or even using an outdoor gym. Now restrictions are lifting and gyms have reopened, you may rush back to your usual routine but did you know that there are many health benefits to outdoor exercise?
Keep on reading to find out why you might want to swap your gym membership for your own back garden.
Increases Vitamin D Levels
By spending time outside in nature, you’ll get access to a great source of Vitamin D from the sun. This helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which helps to keep your teeth and muscles strong and healthy. Several studies have also shown that it reduces your risk of developing several diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease.
Another great reason to change the location of your workouts to a green space is to help keep your routines fresh and engaging. This is an effective way of keeping yourself motivated to get moving and you’re less likely to start dreading your workouts and getting bored of your physical activity routine. In the longer term, you’ll also be more likely to stick to your outdoor activity routines if you find them enjoyable and stimulating.
Boosts Mental Health
Many studies have shown that spending time outside in natural environments can positively impact us and bring us many mental health benefits. By completing regular exercise in the fresh air, we can think more clearly and put issues into perspective. We’re also less likely to get distracted by our phones, giving our minds the proper time to refresh and reset. The sunlight can also provide a boost to our mood too as it helps us to release a hormone called ‘serotonin’ which can improve our mood and how we feel.
Lowers Blood Pressure
A surprising benefit of exercising outside in a green space is that it can help to lower your blood pressure and stress levels. This in turn can make the exercise we are doing feel less strenuous on our body, allowing us to complete our outdoor workouts for longer.
One advantage of lockdown was that it allowed people to save on some of their expenses, including their gym memberships. As exercising outdoors is completely free of charge, this is a great way of keeping your saving habits going. With the savings you’ll make from not paying a gym membership you could use to invest in some garden gym equipment.
Often gyms don’t allow you to bring a guest along with you without paying a fee, which can mean that you find yourself working out alone. But when you exercise outdoors you are free to bring along your family and friends which can help make your routines more fun and enjoyable. If you follow a plan along with a friend, you are also more likely to stick it as you’re committing to each other as well as your own fitness.
So there you have it, those were just a few of the many benefits there are to exercising outdoors. Whether you’re taking a walk or running through a park or following a yoga lesson in the garden, there are many ways to enjoy exercise outside in natural environments.