September is upon us, and that serves as a subtle reminder that Fall is just around the corner. With the donning of autumn comes some of the most beautiful weather of the year.
You're probably wondering what the weather has to do with health and fitness, and the answer is quite a bit!
From cancer prevention to combatting depression and improving sense of well being, there is an emerging body of research which shows that spending more time outdoors can have a huge impact on your health.
Studies are even showing that the same workouts done outdoors can have some distinct health benefits over doing them indoors.
However, many of us live where the extreme summer heat and humidity can make outdoor training impractical. But, with the cool fall season just on the horizon, the time couldn’t be better to work a little nature into your fitness routine!
Let's take a look at the top 5 reasons why you should go outdoors to train, and then we'll go over some examples of how you can do it (and no, one of them is not jogging to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte).
1. Outdoor workouts are more motivating than indoor workouts.  
You often hear people complain about how they hate cardio, but it may be that what people really hate is working out on a piece of cardio equipment indoors! After all, going no where fast gets old quick.
Multiple studies show that people rate the same workouts more highly when conducted outdoors. What's more, people also adhere to their exercise routines better when they take place outside. So, if you have been feeling burned out, lacking motivation and tired of the same old thing, take your running shoes or your kettlebells outside!
2. Outdoor workouts combat stress better than indoor workouts. 
Many of the health promoting effects of exercise come via its ability to reduce stress. These effects are amplified in workouts conducted outdoors vs indoors.
After outdoor workouts in green areas, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as stress hormone levels are significantly lower than workouts done indoors, and even better than outdoor workouts in urban areas with very few trees.
The strongest stress relieving effects were seen when exercising near water, like beaches, or the banks of rivers and lakes.
3. The same workouts feel easier when you do them outside. 
If you're struggling with improving your performance, or feel drained after your workouts, take it outside to make it feel easier. People who did the same workouts indoors and outdoors reported feeling more awake, energized, attentive, happy, and calm as well as having more positive emotions after the outdoor workouts vs indoor.
4. Outdoor workouts help you soak up the natural sunshine and improve sleep quality. 
While you want to avoid excessive UV exposure, there are a myriad health benefits associated with getting natural sunlight. Our bodies synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight as it is absorbed by our skin. Vitamin D is critical for optimal metabolic function, hormone production and bone health. Perhaps most importantly, Vitamin D is critical in the synthesis of serotonin, which helps naturally combat depression and improves sleep quality.
5. Exercising outdoors can improve your self esteem. 
One of the many reasons that we exercise is to look and feel better. On the surface, common sense says that as we lose weight, or build lean muscle our physical appearance will imrove, and with it our self esteem. But research shows that self esteem improvements are greater with outdoor exercise than indoor.
Taking your training outside can lead to feeling even better about yourself regardless of weather or not you look better than if you had exercised indoors - although, I would suspect many of us would look better with a little sun-kissed tan!
Now that you are sold on getting outside and putting a little nature in your routine, let's look at a few ways to do it.
It may not be realistic to take a squat rack or a bench outside, but there's a variety of ways that you can work nature into any fitness routine.
Here are some ideas for dry land:
- Walk or run (from trails at the beach, to football stadiums at a local school)
- Bike ride (street or mountain)
- Skate board
- Calisthenics in the backyard or at the park
- Kettlebells (a kettlebell is a taxing, portable, resistance workout)
- Outdoor yoga
And here are a few ideas if you happen to live near water
- Paddle boarding (paddle board yoga if you are really coordinated)
Regardless of how you decide to take your workouts outside, the physical and mental health benefits make it a must.
And to help you attack the great outdoors like the beast that you are (this includes all you ladies), you can count on 3MB3R Platinum Heat Reserve to be your ultimate training partner.
With 3MB3R, you will:
- Burn more fat during training†
- Recover better from workouts†
- Have all day energy†
- Build lean muscle†
- Gain a lean, athletic body faster†