H&F’s fitness editor talks about the advantages of outdoor exercise now it’s warmer.
Picnics, beach holidays, barbecues, camping – ahh, summer has arrived! And it’s surely a fact that everything is much easier now.
Getting the kids dressed? Simple, without coats or hats to worry about. Waking up early for work? Much more tolerable now it’s light in the morning. Staying in shape? Even that’s effortless when the weather’s nice and your workout options are plentiful – surfing, canoeing, cycling or swimming, anyone? And science shows that outdoor exercise is a boon to the body too. Here’s all the inspiration you need to hit the green gym…
1. YOU’LL FIND IT EASIER
Not only will you feel more motivated to exercise outside when the sun’s shining, but you’ll also perceive it to be easier than normal. A 2009 study found that walkers selected a quicker speed but deemed it to be easier when hiking outdoors.
2. YOU’LL BURN MORE CALORIES
Nature’s gym is tough. When running, cycling or walking, changes in gradient stress different muscles compared with doing the same sport on flat terrain. A strong headwind will also make you work harder, using more energy and burning oodles of calories. 3. YOU’LL BE A LOT HAPPIER Outdoor exercise is good for your mood. One study printed in Environmental Science & Technology shows that walkers felt more enthusiastic, energetic, confident and happier when hiking outside than when on a treadmill. See you out there!
‘ Walkers reported feeling happier and more confident when hiking outside’