As summer’s heat subsides, your craving for cool fall workouts begins. Good thing, too: Exercising outdoors is the perfect way to reinvigorate your fitness focus and mental health.
“The benefits of exercising outside are as much psychological and emotional as they are physical,” explains Bruce Kelly, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Media. Kelly extolls the benefits of outdoor exercise especially because “…You’re likely to move more, you don’t feel like you’re trapped indoors, and you have an overall better attitude.”
But perhaps the biggest perk of your outdoor workout is your intake of Vitamin D, which is essential to strong bones and a healthy immune system. Plus, science shows that outdoor exercise improves emotional health, too. According to a recent study from The Peninsula College of Medicine, exercising outdoors increases energy and boosts positive social interactions—while also reducing tension, confusion, anger and depression—when compared to similar workouts indoors.
Finally, exercising outdoors helps you keep up your fitness routine. Peninsula study participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their outdoor workouts, and stated that they were more likely to stick with that activity ongoing.
How can you make the most from your fall workouts outside? Here are three expert tips:
- TAKE IT SLOW: Fresh fall air can make you feel like conquering more than your body is ready for, putting you at risk for doing too much too soon.
- Kelly (above) and other trainers recommend boosting the intensity of your outdoor fitness routines (like running, biking and other cardio training) by no more than 10% per week.
- Trying something new? If fall finds you running cross country, playing soccer or joining a fall tennis league, then try adding sports-specific training to your routine to help your body adjust to new demands.
- THINK BEYOND CARDIO: Exercising outdoors means more than just cardio; outdoor strength training can work wonders for your fitness. Try outdoor yoga, or body weight fitness programs like TRX, or even kettlebells and outdoor battle ropes. All that’s required is a wide, stable surface (and something strong to attach the TRX straps or battle ropes to, like a fence or playground equipment).
- COME PREPARED: Autumn weather can change quickly. Dress for fall squalls, and choose shoes that handle wet and dry conditions. Plus, be mindful of outdoor surface conditions. Paths and grass are soft, but uneven. Concrete and pavement are hard, but smooth (and slippery when wet). A boardwalk is flexible, but fraught with bumps. Stay safe!
For the latest gear to help you get lasting fitness results inside and out—no matter the season—get to your nearest Gym Source today.
With thanks to our sources:
Switching From Indoor Running to Outdoor Running | http://literock969.com/indoor-to-outdoor-running-2/?trackback=tsmclip and http://fitnesstogether.com/our-solution/fitness-tips/transitioning-your-workout-routine-from-indoors-to-outdoors/#sthash.HmPw6yOU.dpuf and http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm