If you're lucky enough to live in an area of the world that has nice weather all year long, then hopefully you've taken advantage of that and incorporated the outside world into your training. Even if you live in an area that experiences extreme cold and tons of snow, you can still make opportunities for yourself to breathe in the fresh air while you work your heart, lungs and the muscles of your physique. Many of you are probably stuck inside most of the time for your jobs so I'm sure any time outside in the sun or in the wilderness is a welcoming change of scenery. For those of you who haven't yet entertained the idea of performing your workouts free from the confines of your busy and often times crowded gyms, here are 5 great reasons to take your training outside.
Reason #1: Space
It's amazing what can happen when you realize just how much you can do for yourself in wide open spaces. The possibilities become endless for your cardio work, your functional fitness pursuits, your speed-agility-quickness training and your sports specific work outs. When you take your program out onto an open field, or a parking lot or into the trails what you create is a chance to move freely and naturally in and around your surroundings void of anything or anyone getting in your way.
Reason #2: Vitamin D
Many of us, without even knowing it, are Vitamin D deficient simply because of the nature of our lives. Unless you have an occupation that warrants you being outside for the day and in the sun, you're busy working away under fluorescent lighting with maybe a couple of windows that will allow natural sunlight in. We get Vitamin D naturally from the sun, so if you don't get much of that, you will be deficient and that's not ok. Vitamin D is responsible for many health priorities including but not limited to healthy bones and teeth, resistance to diabetes and can also aid in a weight loss designed program. So if any of these things are important to you, get out and into the sun (be sure to always wear sunscreen) for your workouts.
Reason #3: Mood Changer
When you're always stuck inside a building it can sometimes really get to you. Think about all of the times you walked into your gym and just didn't feel it. You had no motivation to get at your workout for the day and the struggle to get started was real. Well, perhaps if you had the option of changing up your scenery and instead of looking at walls, mirrors and other patrons at your gym you were looking at mountain views, the seaside, the greenery of a forest or the beautiful architecture or your city, your mood would change and you would become invigorated and full of energy ready to tackle even the toughest of workouts.
Reason #4: Variable Training
Generally speaking, we are creatures of habit and as such, like doing the same or similar things that make us happy on the daily. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever but it just so happens that while we enjoy our regular routines, that regularity flies in the face of the fact that we are also an extremely adaptive species which for training purposes means that nothing new will happen if we keep training with the same old exercises and routine. What the outside world offers to us is variability within our workouts in that you make anything or any object a form of resistance for yourself. You can use the steps of a monument, jump over logs in the woods, swim in the ocean, stop by a playground and do some chin ups on the monkey bars during your morning run, create obstacle courses for yourself, lift just about anything that's not attached to the ground and the list is endless for what you can do. If you're creative enough and have an open mind, a phenomenal workout is waiting for you just outside your door.
Reason #5: Better Living
Regardless of what your direct goal is with regards to fitness, whether you're trying to be Mr. Olympia or win a gold medal at the Olympics, your end goal should always be a better and more healthy you. When you step out of the comfort zone of your gym and start training outside and using all of the features that nature has naturally provided for you, you get better at living. You want to be able to take advantage of everything this world has to offer to us and great workouts that include all elements of fitness is included in that. I want to live a long, healthy and happy life and I'm sure you do too and better training can definitely lead to better living.
The benefits of training outside are just too plentiful to include them all in this one article. That's why I encourage you to explore the outside world for the possibilities that exist for you. My guess is that you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you find and experience as you begin incorporating this into your life. So remember, when you do go from the gym to the street, there's only one shoe you need to have on your feet and that's Heyday Footwear. We're worldwide which is fitting for you as you venture out to see what the outside world has to offer you.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.