5 Good Reasons To Train Outdoors

Fresh air - is there such a thing in London?

The only place in London you can have a hope of a lung full of fresh air is the park. Running on roadside in London should come with a health warning. Granted it’s not the Lake District but at least exercising in the park means you’re not taking a direct drag on an exhaust pipe.

Whatever the CO reality it feels better to breath in park air while you train. Or you could run indoors on the hamster wheel breathing in gym air…

 

Vitality

Nature in London is hard to come by and it’s even harder finding time to spend in it. After killing two birds with one hour and doing your training in one of London’s beautiful parks you feel different. Many studies have shown that your energy increases giving an improved sense of ‘vitality’. Perhaps because of the nature, the air or the sense of connection to your past.. Who knows? Who cares? It works.

On the heavier side there is research showing outdoor exercise combats anxiety and stress; up to a 50%.

If you’re not quite there yet, the lighter side proves that basic mental wellbeing is improved. For me it’s partly a throwback to my days as a little rascal playing sports and messing around in the park. Don’t know about you but I didn’t grow up hanging around in sweaty (expensive) spin studios!

 

Focus

“The healing power of nature is associated with mindful contact with the animate and inanimate natural portions of the outdoor environment…so-called screen time, may be a driving force masking awareness of the benefits of nature.”

I find it hard to concentrate all day. The constant bleep of facebook, instagram, email, 24 hour news and everything in between has my head in a spin at least 20% of the day. I’ve taken to mindfulness, social media detox and 100 different lists and post it notes stuck to my walls… haha almost true. Being in the park is restorative time for me, brings the background noise back down. There’s no tv, less people and less pressure. Just you, your group and nature.

You can't get Vitamin D indoors you know.

You can't get Vitamin D indoors you know.

Vitamin D even under cloud

For obvious reasons it’s hard to make any Vit D at all in Britain! It takes exposed skin meeting sunshine, while we spend our days fully clothed rushing from bed to bus to office and back again. 25% of people in the UK are so depleted of Vit D they can’t ‘sustain normal bone health’ and a larger proportion have sub-optimal levels.

Vit D is important for a multitude of processes, which have been covered time and again, google it if you’re in doubt, but increased energy levels and fat loss are two prize benefits that perk most peoples’ interest.

Yes clouds reduce the amount you make but every bit counts… expose as much skin as possible (without offending anyone!) when you’re training outdoors to soak it up. One thing’s for sure you’re not getting any on a treadmill in your gym.

 

Nature is cheap

The cost structure of outdoor training means you are not paying for posh shower tiles, lighting and interior designers so your training is more affordable. As in free. Unless of course you are friends with an amazing outdoor fitness company, then it’s just reasonable…

On a physical level the variety of angles and surfaces is good for the functionality of your training. You have plenty of space to get silly, play some games and climb a tree. Humans were functional trainers long before they invented cable machines!

 

What’s not to like?

Try something new, force yourself to grow. These changes that we hold back are often the source of big opportunities. Throw open the doors to fresh air and see what you’ve got to lose…

 

References:

http://selfdeterminationtheory.org/SDT/documents/2010_RyanWeinstenEtAl_JEVP.pdf

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612003565

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24262442

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22472137 

https://cks.nice.org.uk/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-adults-treatment-and-prevention#!backgroundsub:3

James Hardy