After gyms closed for the coronavirus, many people realized how dependent they were on them for their fitness goals. Some people never felt comfortable at the gym at all.
Buying a gym membership and making time to go there is a barrier for some people who are trying to get fit. Gyms can be scary or embarrassing for newcomers who then decide against working on their health despite any desire to improve.
Luckily, outside workouts are always an option as long as the weather is good and the skies are clear. The great outdoors isn't going anywhere so there's always a makeshift "gym" right in your own backyard, nearby park, or even neighborhood sidewalks.
If you're still hesitant to get moving outdoors we're here to help show you the light. Keep reading for 8 benefits of starting up an outside workout routine today.
1. It's Great for Mental Health
Getting outside and working out is a serious mood booster. When you're feeling down or sluggish, even a simple walk or jog can help bring your spirits up.
There are a few reasons for this. The vitamin D that we get from the sun can boost your mood. You won't get that same benefit from the gym or any indoor workouts.
You'll also be getting endorphins flowing. Endorphins are kind of like happy chemicals that your brain releases when you exercise. They're there to help you ignore any pain and physical stress so that you can continue exercising, but they also help to elevate your mood.
Furthermore, it's fun. Very few people are going to have a good time running on a treadmill for an hour. While lifting weights can be enjoyable, getting outside and exercising in whatever way feels best can be more exciting.
2. No Stressing About the Gym
As we mentioned before, having to actually go to the gym is a barrier for a lot of people.
Gyms are expensive and they sometimes have predatory practices. They can have shady contracts, aggressive sales tactics, and memberships that are almost impossible to break free from. Some gyms rely on the idea that you won't actually go there. They can also provide a financial barrier.
For some, gyms are intimidating. People who are out of shape may feel uncomfortable joining a gym. It can be hard to start from the bottom when you see so many people who seem like they've always been fit.
While this embarrassment is unnecessary, it's common. Sometimes starting your fitness journey with the gym is too hard to stomach.
3. It's Free
The financial barriers no longer apply if you're just stepping outside of your door or car and getting outside.
There are some outdoor activities that cost money. You may want a membership to a golf club or swimming pool, or you might choose an activity that has higher startup costs like skiing or horseback riding.
The difference is that these activities are fun and you're more likely to actually take advantage of them. That's money well-spent.
You can also choose to just go for a walk or jog in your own neighborhood. If you're lucky enough to be near a good hiking spot, that alone is a great workout. There are so many sights to see and if you're lucky you can catch a glimpse of the local flora and fauna.
Getting outside will require some appropriate outdoor clothing, but that upfront cost is nothing in comparison to most gym memberships.
4. You Can Include the Whole Family
Working out at the gym is generally a solitary activity. You might bring a friend or two along, but they can distract you from your exercise and not everyone is going to have a gym pass.
If you have children you can include them in your fitness routine. Young children are too small to participate in most gym activities, so choosing other options is helpful.
Choosing outdoor workouts works for everyone. Going for a hike exposes your children to new sights early on. You can also play outdoor sports like soccer or basketball that your children will see as games.
Getting children involved in exercise early will help prevent childhood obesity and set them on the right track for a healthy adulthood. Just make sure to keep them safe from the sun!
5. Workouts Are Functional
Functional exercises mimic the movements that you need to use in real life. Rather than building up extreme amounts of bulky muscle (which is still valuable if that's your choice), you're working on balance, cardiovascular health, and functional strength.
This training is a more advanced version of what our ancestors could have done, though there are many more fun activities that help you gain functional strength.
Running and climbing help your balance, your lungs, and your muscles, things that you need to do all of the fun activities like wakeboarding, surfing, and anything else that requires a strong foundation and solid balance.
There's nothing wrong with lifting weights at the gym, but you don't need them to be healthy. Exercises that kept our ancestors healthy are just as good.
6. It's Good for Your Physical Health
Getting outside and working out is obviously great for your physical health.
The average adult should be getting between 75 and 300 minutes of physical activity per week depending on the intensity of the exercise and the fitness goals of the individual. 80% of Americans don't get enough exercise.
Outside cardio workouts are always available. Exercise will build strength, tone muscles, and improve your cardiovascular health. All of these things can help you avoid conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
If you're interested in losing weight, affordable outdoor exercise every day (even if it's just a brisk walk around the neighborhood) is accessible and it can help you reach your goals.
If you're looking to build strength, things like hiking uphill, climbing, and more are great choices.
Stay healthy while having fun outdoors.
Outside Workouts Are The Key to Your Fitness Success
Getting outside and working on your fitness is free, accessible, and great for your physical and mental health.
You don't need a gym membership to get in shape. Outside workouts can be done by anyone that has access to the great outdoors.
If you're an outdoor fitness enthusiast, or you want to get started, you should make sure to protect your skin (especially if you're interested in those health benefits). Visit our site for protective outdoor activewear that will keep you safe while you work out!