Why You Should Get Active Outside the Gym
The sunny summer days bring me so much life, so naturally I'm ecstatic that I can finally take my fit lifestyle outdoors! Gone are the days of giant puffy jackets and heavy knit sweaters. Say hello to warm weather and tons of vitamin D! While working out in the gym is awesome, and there are more than enough indoor workout options to be had, in the summer I look to nature to help me get up and get active.
It's no secret that heading outside has its benefits. The first reason I like to take my workouts out of the gym is to positively affect my mental health. Research shows that doing so can lower your risk of depression and anxiety. In our urbanized, fast-paced world, we often forget the importance of spending some time with Mother Nature. We have become so disconnected with her, she's not even in our top Snapchat friends anymore (kidding, obviously)! But, by getting active outdoors, I consistently feel better mentally AND physically. I put away all of my petty and minuscule stress triggers and separate myself from them, even if only temporarily.
Another reason I love outdoor fitness is to give myself a change of scenery. Sometimes seeing the same gym floor and the same gym equipment every time I work out (from fall to spring) can get a little old. Sure, I have tons of combinations of exercises to choose from to keep myself interested, but think about all of the additional options presented to you once you step out the door! You can go for a run around your neighbourhood (and maybe grab some ice cream at the end of it), a hike with a group of friends, or even do a body-weight workout in the park. Make it a social event and compete with your friends, or do it solo and spend some quality time with yourself. The possibilities are truly endless.
A final reason why you should get active outside the gym is to absorb some Vitamin D and breathe in the fresh air. There is a pretty good chance you are low in this essential bone-strengthening vitamin, especially if you work in an office or another indoor setting year-round. Most sources of Vitamin D that we encounter on a regular basis are animal based foods, so if you are vegetarian or vegan then this is especially true. Anyone ages 1-70 need about 600 IU to help lower risk of Osteoporosis, so getting outside is a great alternative to relying on foods as our major source of Vitamin D. Just be careful and be sure to remember to slather on the sunscreen before heading out, because no one likes free-radicals or sunburns!
Do you love getting active outside as much as I do? What activities are your favourite? Let me know what else I should try out in the comments!