Fit­ness ex­pert

Health & Fitness - - Contents -

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’

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