Exercising outdoors can help you in many positive ways. People today spend much of their lives indoors and lose out on many of the benefits of being outside. As a society, more of us spend our time in offices, in cars, on trains or stuck inside our houses.
Much of this is climate related, as here in the UK it is often cold and wet. People who live in tropical climates don’t have this problem. But even in the winter in the UK it is important to get outside and get some fresh air. Fresh air is one of the benefits of being outdoors, but again this is reflective of the part of the country you live in. The air is much cleaner and fresher in the Lake District or the Scottish Highlands than it is in Central London or Manchester.
Sunlight is also vitally important and the effects of too much sun exposure have been overplayed. While it is very important not to burn in the sun it is still vitally important that you allow sunlight to hit your skin and also your eyes. Vitamin D is one of the most important things to your health and high levels of Vitamin D in your blood are linked with lower incidences of cancer, heart disease, obesity and premature death. The easiest way to get your daily amount of Vitamin D is to spend 15 to 20 minutes (or more) in direct sunlight each day, even in the winter.
Just being exposed to green areas has been shown in studies to improve your health. If you can’t get out on a day trek in the Highlands then an hour or two in the park can help improve your mood and health status. In fact studies have shown that as little as three hours per week of outdoor recreation can improve your serotonin levels by around 20%.
The team at Peak XV Fitness who run fitness boot camps in Reading point to comments from their members who state that exercising outdoors is the main reason they attend the classes rather than just join a gym. Even when the weather is bad the group members still feel that they get health benefits when compared to being indoors.
As a species we really did evolve in the wild and need to spend a good proportion of our day outside, regardless of the weather conditions. There are many benefits associated with spending time outdoors in nature. Whether it be a full day hike in the Wilderness, a game of tennis with friends or an hours boot camp with Peak XV Fitness at their Wandsworth Boot Camp you need to get outside.