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    Training Outdoors: Research-based Mental and Physical Benefits of Training Outdoors

    Did you know that taking your workouts outdoors can give you exceptional mental and physical benefits? Training outdoors is synonymously known as "green exercise," and most people that have tried it out will tell you that's it’s more enjoyable than working out indoors.

    It’s amazing how being in natural light and fresh air can make a world of difference in how you feel. Training outdoors is not just about the gorgeous scenery. Green exercise can challenge your body in unimaginable ways helping you get results. The form of exercise is enjoyable, flexible and versatile which is why it’s so popular. If you put your mind to it, a little creativity can allow you to replicate any gym workouts anywhere, allowing you to enjoy exercising in a gorgeous outdoor space.

    For instance, you can use an external staircase to mimic an indoor stair climber or do actual rowing in a boat, to replicate a rowing machine. Move your exercise regimen outdoors and get to enjoy a plethora of benefits that will stimulate your cognitive faculties together with the physical aspects of your body. Some examples of exercises that you can enjoy outdoors are;

    •Brisk or long nature walks

    •Jogging and running



    •Mountain climbing

    •Rowing and boating



    Physical and Mental Benefits of Training Outdoors


    Unlike gym exercise, green exercise does not take place in one location throughout. Green workout experts know how to transform the natural environment into invigorating workout spaces. Carrying out training in many different areas eliminates the monotony that plagues most gyms. Therefore, working out in the great outdoors is always inspiring and motivating, which always makes people look forward to the next session.

    Participants of a Zurich research favored outdoor exercise over indoor exercise saying that they found it to be more restorative. To reach these results, the researchers surveyed 319 members of a gym that offers both indoor and outdoor fitness programs. It goes without saying that if people are willing to keep exercising in the natural environment, then there is a high possibility that more people will be getting their daily recommended exercise needs.

    A different study found that people may find exercising outdoors easier and hence end up working out more. This study shows that green space minimizes the perception of effort, making you see as if it's effortless to work out outdoors.

    Boosts your vitamin D intake

    Vitamin D is essential for phosphates and calcium absorption, which helps maintain proper bone health. In the UK, late March, early April and late September are the best months to enjoy the sunshine and get your vitamin D intake. Why not spend that time outdoors exercising?

    Foods like oily fish, red meat, and vitamin D fortified foods can provide you with small amounts of vitamin D. However; you must supplement the vitamin D food sources with sunlight to get the recommended daily dosage

    The best thing about green workouts is that they come in many forms, and you can interchange them to avoid boredom and monotony.

    Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression

    Research shows that training in nature could significantly improve one's mental health. Working out in the outdoors can help you release happy chemicals otherwise known as endorphins that are usually lacking in people that lead a sedentary lifestyle. People that participate in outdoor exercise experience the following

    •Alleviation of anxiety and depression

    •Reduction of tension and anger

    •Heightened relaxation and happiness

    •Greater satisfaction and enjoyment

    •A decrease in mood sub-scales

    Mental health encompasses your social, emotional, and psychological well-being. The status of your mental health can determine how well you cope with everyday challenges such as stress, the quality of your choices and decisions as well as how you relate to others.

    Instead of reaching for antidepressants every time you feel stressed or depressed, try working out to achieve an enormous level of mental well-being. Working out is a safer alternative compared to antidepressants that may lead to dependency and eventual addiction.


    People living in green space are likely to live longer, and a Japanese study by Takano T, Nakamura K, Watanabe M supports this claim. The study entailed analyzing 3144 people born between 1903 and 1918, and the findings were that people living in green areas lived longer. The research advocates for the incorporation of green space in urban regions.

    Give more intense workouts

    Did you know that your energy expenditure is higher when working out outdoors than when working out indoors? Several factors could help explain why exercising in green space requires more energy;

    • There's no air resistance in an indoor environment, compared to an outdoor environment

    • The outdoor space has challenging terrain that a runner needs to navigate constantly

    Why is the energy expenditure essential when working out?

    Energy expenditure is hugely crucial when it comes to burning calories. As you may know, your body turns the food that you consume into energy and the excess food into fat. When you exercise, your body's metabolism rises and forces it to reach into the fat deposits, helping you burn more excess calories, which in turn helps you lose more weight.


    Start taking time to engage with nature today to improve your cognitive as well as physical health. Wondering where to start? Start by taking advantage of the outdoor space around your home or office. Another great alternative is going to your local park where there are spans of green space. If you’re one of those people that don’t like to exercise alone, you can try going for a holistic retreat.

    Immerse you in nature and get the best possible outcome because it has so much to offer. Nature fuses adventure and workouts eliminating monotony and boredom. Start enjoying benefits like better flexibility, a reduction of stress, depression, and anxiety, boost your vitamin D intake, get more intense and flexible workouts as well as enjoy longevity by staring green exercise today. Why go to a gym when you can have an ocean, clifftop or mountain at your disposal, not to mention fresh air?

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