Health: Exercise Slump? Go Outside!


We find all sorts of reasons and excuses not to exercise. Fact is, it requires a lot of discipline to be faithful to your workouts. Shaking things up regularly ensures you don’t get bored or get into a rut, which means you are constantly motivated. Out door workouts are ideal-changing scenery and fresh air are the perfect backdrop to a training session. Here are a few reasons why you need to get outsider for an unforgettable endorphin rush:

1. Freedom

Exercising outside means the world is your oyster, and you can choose to exercise whenever you want, however you want, not just when the gym is open. Travelling on business? Go for a run in the morning. Gone upcountry to visit the folks? A brisk evening walk will do you wonders. Exercise outdoors and you will never miss waiting for your turn at the elliptical machine in the gym.

2. Save money!

A gym membership can put a dent in your budget. Not to mention you have to by the proper workout gear. With the great outdoors, you only need a good running shoe. Some people invest in a home gym, which also costs quite a bit, but can also be de-motivating at times. How about the being stuck in traffic on your way to the gym after work? Save yourself the stress and the fuel money and take your dog for a run around the hood.

3. It’s healthier!

Even the cleanest of gyms can be a harbour of disease. All that sweat can transmit anything from Hepatitis to a yucky skin condition or even athlete’s foot. The best thing about the great outdoors-no sharing! Therefore, a much lesser likelihood of contracting something nasty.

4. You’re more likely to stick to your workout

Gym=routine=boring. Whoever said time flies when you’re having fun didn’t lie. Instead of counting down the miles on the treadmill, explore new routes and you won’t even realize you’ve been running for an hour straight! Even when running uphill, it’s easier when it’s not the same old environment. You’ll find challenging exercises not as challenging because you are distracted by what is around you.

5. Lose weight faster

We tend to burn more fat when we challenge our bodies differently every time. When your body is already used to all the machines at the gym, the challenge starts to diminish and you get stuck at that fitness level. If you constantly challenge your muscles, for example a field today, a hill tomorrow or different terrain every other day, your body works harder to adjust hence you loose more weight. Nature also has it’s own form of resistance training: the hotter it is outside the more grueling your workout becomes-a workout bonus!

6. Oh, glorious endorphins!

Did you know that oxygen heightens concentration, alertness and memory? Did you also know oxygen increases our energy levels? So, why wouldn’t you want to exercise outside where there is a constant flow of clean, fresh oxygen? There is no way canned air (akin to that found in a gym) can compare. Fresh air induces a euphoric feeling that has been compared to the high gotten from drugs. Exercise already produces those happy hormones known as endorphins, and giving your muscles that extra fuel in terms of oxygen will only double the pleasure.

Outdoor Exercise Tips

Remember to have a good, comfortable shoe to ensure you protect your ankles and knees from the impact of running.

Running isn’t all you can do outside: do squats, lunges or alternate brisk walking and sprints. You can also bike or swim!

Make sure you are in a safe environment. Avoid secluded areas, heavily wooded areas or working out too early in the morning or late evening when it’s dark.

Good luck!

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