It’s been a surprisingly perfect day here weather wise. Almost as outstanding in it’s perfection than the fact that it occurred. Here the weather is unfailingly predictable. And so, I never imagined that I would be exercising outdoors today. Much the same way, I’d never have anticipated writing this post seated in the garden immediately after a workout. But here we are. Working out outside has got me thinking about all the additional benefits we miss when we are confined inside.
For How to Create a Home Workout Routine read here.
For 6 Tips to Inspire You to Workout for your Mental Health here.
And whilst it is often easier to workout indoors or at home. I am big advocate for home workouts. Exercising outdoors should be accessible provided we think broadly. I am exceedingly lucky to have an outdoor space at my disposal. This is only a recent occurrence. And am trying to take full advantage of it whilst reminding myself I am incalculably luck to have it. I do not wish to become complacent.
But working out doesn’t necessitate a personal workout space. Although a garden, shared or otherwise, a balcony or in a pinch a sun patch by a window is great. But if Covid-19 taught us anything it was the abundance of green spaces many of us could find locally. If we only stepped slightly further away from our front doors. But again, we all have outdoors on our doorsteps. It may not be as green or calming. But there are still benefits.
For Your Guide to Creating an Exercise Routine that will Stick read here.
For 5 Tips to Build a Home Yoga Practise read here.
- Vitamin D. We know it’s essential. It’s good for our bones, teeth, muscles etc. But it’s also vital for our mood. Wherever we live, but particularly if we live in countries with less sunshine, we’re probably not getting enough. Working out outdoors is a great way to top up your Vitamin D.
- Fresh Air. Getting outdoor for some fresh air can reduce the levels of our stress hormone cortisol. We know that exercise can have a similar effect when it comes to stress reduction. So, why not double up?
- Mindful Moment. Exercising outdoors is an excellent opportunity to take some extra breaths of that fresh air and press pause. Whatever exercise, take a moment before, after or during to enjoy where you are. The fresh air, feel of the sun (if it’s out) and the sounds of nature can help us feel calm. Simply noticing where we are is an act of mindfulness.
- Creativity. Being outdoors today helped me come up with the idea for this post. Had I worked out inside this post probably never would have happened. Perhaps it was the clarity and calm I found outside that helped clear my mind enough to think. Who knows? But what I do know is not only did it help spark the idea and content of this post. But it also cleared my mind to think creatively about a few other things that had been on my mind. Switching my mind to a more solution-focused mode.
- Maximizing. I don’t know about you, but I can be lazy when it comes to workout clothes. Often grabbing whatever is comfiest and the least effort. But when I do wear my workout gear and proper shoes I know I work harder. I have the confidence and I’m in the right mindset to make the most of my workout. Exercising outside pushed me to dress appropriately and helped me maximize my workout time.
- Mood. It’ll be no surprise to see this one on the list. It’s closely linked to so many of the ones above. When I workout my mood generally starts to shift. But the additions of the sun on my face, the fresh air and the feel of nature around me has given me that extra boost. And with the boost I’m more energized and motivated too.
- Gratitude & Humility. Taking time outside always helps shift my mood. Yes, from sad, angry or frustrated to something that feels lighter. But it also reminds me of my place in the world. And how lucky we are to have it. The beauty and magnitude of the world can stagger me at times in the best way. Spending time outside always humbles me but makes me immeasurably grateful for the small things we so often take for granted. And exercising outdoors was no exception.
- The View. Life is so much more interesting outside. The walls of my home are boring in their predictability. Nothing much seems to change. But outside, life is always shifting and evolving. Whether you’re in a garden, balcony, park or walking your neighbourhood. There’s always something to notice and usually enjoy. An added benefit for your mood. But particularly if you’re finding a workout hard and need something to get you through.
What are your experiences of working out outdoors? Do you do it often? What are the benefits you’ve discovered?