With social distancing here to stay for the foreseeable future, we all now know that being outside is one of the safest places to be – the great outdoors is spacious and always ready for you!
There is no better time to reap the benefits:
Top up your vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is needed to keep and maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. This vital nutrient regulates calcium and phosphate levels and is naturally produced within the body by ultraviolet B (UVB).
It’s recommended that healthy exposure of bare skin (legs, forearms, hands etc), without sunscreen during late March/early April to the end of September, is the optimal time of the year to get your vitamin D fix from direct sunlight exposure. Take care not to burn your skin, as exposure time varies from person-to-person.
Swipe the boredom factor
Challenge your body differently…utilise the range of objects within green spaces and local parks as fresh exercise equipment. From tree branch pull ups, park bench tricep dips or step ups, and using trees as benchmarks to intermit sprints and jogs.
Research suggests that people who exercise in the great outdoors reap rewards. Being outside helps you work harder and faster (and burn additional calories). This is because your mind is focused on fresh things: from the outdoor views, changing terrain and gradient, wind resistance, to your route navigation.
Feel lighter and smiley
Being outdoors may help fight off and/or lower depression and anxiety levels due to modulation of key stress hormones and the healthy increase in feel-good endorphins and serotonin secretion – which lifts and brightens your mood. Whilst the outdoors is inherently seen as an opportunity to boost to your immune system and improve immune functionality.
A 2015 study by Stanford University, California, found that students who walked through a campus park for just an hour improved their well-being, by being less anxious than those students who didn’t. Other studies have looked into the body benefits when people spend time in nature; there is significant positive impact on a person’s cortisol levels, (this hormone is often used as a marker in measuring stress), heart rate and blood pressure -resulting in a reduction, thanks to Mother Nature.
Prone to injury?
Regular treadmill users can be susceptible to over-use injuries, due to the repetitive motion on the flat surface, which can place stress on knees and ligaments. Switch things up, try a new surface. Uneven terrain makes your body work harder, which forces both the body and mind to respond to the unknown, and your training session becomes more efficient and effective.
Create positive, happy relationships
Outdoor activities which involve the whole family create healthy and harmonious benefits for all.
Whether you choose cycling outdoors, ball games, family park runs or outdoor water sports -outdoor activities are a great way to bond as a family and improve relationships.
In turn, this helps foster happier relationships: from sharing laughter together, to family members sharing their thoughts and affections with each other.
And for the kids, the great outdoors enables them to explore fresh environments and master new skills, such as developing co-ordination, increasing their flexibility and boosting their self-confidence.
Ask our expert personal trainers for advice and guidance on exercising outdoors at your nearest David Lloyd Club.