This summer we’ve decided to take advantage of the beautiful grounds around the clinic by introducing outdoor exercise facilities for our personal training clients and group outdoor exercise classes.
When the sun is shining, heading to the gym can seem like a waste of a beautiful day; now you can combine your workouts and time in the sunshine to soak up your daily dose of vitamin D (1 in 5 adults in the UK are deficient in Vitamin D and exposure to sunshine is a great way to top yours up).
But there’s more to outdoor exercise than sunshine. Compared to indoor training, working out in out in nature could offer a number of added benefits, according to research.
1) You’ll exercise for longer and burn more calories
The natural elements and variations in outdoor terrain act as natural resistance when you exercise outside so your body works just a little harder. Research by physiologist Professor Andrew Jones found treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those running outside. His study suggested that to replicate outdoor running, treadmill runners would need to adjust their machine incline. Outdoor running -with its changing views and terrains – offers natural resistance, interval training and variety to motivate you to exercise for longer.
If you combine the benefits of outdoor exercise with working with a personal trainer or in a group class it’s easy to see why you’re likely to work harder, for longer, than if you were just plodding away by yourself in the gym.
2) It boosts self-esteem
In addition to reducing stress and other negative emotions outdoor exercise has been connected to improved self-esteem. A study by the University of Essex found while exercise in any environment significantly reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and had a positive, significant effect on four of six mood measures; viewing pleasant outdoor scenery during exercise produced a significantly greater positive effect on self-esteem than when exercising without the views. Viewing unpleasant urban scenes whilst exercising had the worst outcome, prompting the researchers to conclude that ‘green exercise’ has important health benefits.
3) It’s good for motivation
If you want to find a fitness regime that will get you motivated and keep you feeling that way, working out in the fresh air could be the key. Participants in the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry review also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date.
4) It’s cheaper and better than the gym
Taking your cardio session outdoors is easy: swap the treadmill and exercise bike for outdoor running and cycling. And as for the weights and resistance training? Why not try a free initial session at Core Camp?
Rob Butler, head of Strength and Conditioning at Core says “working out outdoors can be every bit as effective as a weights session in the gym if you know how to use your body weight and imagination. Squats, lunges, press-ups and crunches can all be done outdoors using without any specific kit. At our outdoor exercise sessions we do have some kit and working in a group extends the possibilities but fundamentally it’s about using your body rather than relying on machines in the gym.”
5) The unpredictability of the outdoors makes it fun
Working out in a gym which is at the same temperature and light-level whatever time of day or year can be a bit soulless. Although the British summer weather can be notoriously unpredictable, once you get your trainers on and get outside, you’ll hardly notice – except in a good way.
A bit of wind or a light shower can we very invigorating on a run or outdoor class. And even on a slightly chilly morning, an outdoor exercise session will soon warm you up naturally – burning more calories in the process than if you were working out in a climate-controlled gym.
If we’ve convinced you of the benefits of outdoor exercise why not try a free first session at Core Camp?
Call 01926 801111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book now (staring the 8th May).