This morning I found myself on my way to a session when I got that dreaded last minute cancellation text. It was 5:30 and I thought about my options: I could turn around and go back to bed for an hour, or I could stay up, go for a walk, and enjoy the sunrise while outside instead of through the gym windows like I usually do. Some days, sleep wins, but today the great outdoors was calling my name so I threw on a hoodie, plugged in my headphones, and listened to a podcast (any Skinny Confidential fans out there?) while strolling around my neighborhood. I always feel so much more energized after moving outside and in reflecting on that I decided to nerd out and do some research. It turns out, outdoor exercise is even better than I thought! Here’s what I found:
1. The change in mood I feel after walking outside isn’t all min my head, according to a study by the American Chemical Society, outdoor exercise “was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity.” You can’t beat that!
2. The constantly changing terrain while training outside helps with core strength, helps prevent the over-training issues associated with the repetitive movements of cardio equipment, and can increase the calories burned.
3. It’s free! Gym memberships can get expensive so why not take advantage of the amazing workout environment right outside your door? Take the chance to explore your neighborhood, breathe some fresh air, maybe meet a neighbor’s dog or two (or I guess meet your actual neighbors, but let’s be real, I’m here for the puppies)…the world is your oyster!