Taking your workout to the park gives you benefits that indoor gyms simply don't have.
Let's explore ten facts about outdoor exercise that will have you heading out to the park in no time!
1. It provides a tougher workout
Unlike running on a treadmill, the outdoors provides you with different terrains. In one workout, you could move from grass, to gravel, and tarmac. Unpredictable surfaces make your workouts more challenging, changing the resistance and exercising more muscles.
2. It reduces anxiety and depression
Sunshine helps your body produce serotonin, a hormone that boosts your mood. Getting out into the park to exercise means you’re soaking up the sun’s rays while helping fight feelings of depression and anxiety.
3. Boosts vitamin D levels
Getting enough vitamin D is crucial for strong bones, healthy muscles and an efficient immune system. The sun is our main source of vitamin D, so working outside for even just 30 minutes can keep your reserves topped up.
4. Saves you money
Aside from investing in comfortable workout gear, you can save hundreds of dollars by swapping out pricey health club memberships for the fresh outdoors.
5. You’ll stick to your workout for longer
People who get fit in nature tend to stick with their workout plan for longer than if they stayed indoors. The great outdoors provides stimulation for all of your senses, so it’s more invigorating for your mind and body than monotonous indoor exercises.
6. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective as using machines
Think you’ll miss out on muscle gains by taking your fitness regime outdoors? Not quite. Bodyweight exercises can provide amazing results. You can modify your routine to challenge every muscle group - sometimes even more effectively than restrictive gym machines.
7. Reduce stress levels
Both sunshine and exercise are the perfect one-two combo to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Working out in the park on a pleasant day can fight stress and help you feel less angry.
8. You’ll recover quicker
An interesting study found that participants’ post-workout blood pressure lowered back to a normal level quicker when working out outside, compared to indoors or in urban areas. That means your park fitness routine isn’t just more pleasant, but more effective, too.
9. Improve your self esteem
Being in the great outdoors has a profound effect on our self esteem. You may feel more grateful and content when moving your body in nature, which in turn leads to a high self-worth and boosted confidence levels. In turn, this will encourage you to work out even more.
10. You don’t need expensive equipment
Some parks have built-in workout equipment like bars, rowing machines, and steppers. Even if you don’t have those tools local to you, exercising outdoors doesn’t require fancy equipment. You can achieve an effective, fun workout with simply a pair of comfortable sports shoes, resistance band and a water bottle.
With these huge benefits to outdoor workouts, there’s no excuse not to hit the park for your next workout.