Take Fitness Outside
Spring has finally sprung, and now is the perfect time to venture into the great outdoors! There are many reasons to get outside and exercise.
Added Health Benefits
The outdoors has much more to offer than the gym. The Vitamin D gained from natural sunlight, the fresh air and freedom of movement are all healthy benefits of exercising outdoors. One may think of it as an idiosyncrasy that the top health clubs have started charging to visit oxygen rooms when in reality all we need to do is step outside.
Skip the Gym, Save Money
Walk, run, swim, cycle, climb, even do yoga. All were intended to be performed outside with minimal equipment, thus costing very little. When compared to the average gym membership, exercising outdoors suddenly becomes very attractive!
Get a Better Workout
When compared to the gym, the benefits gained by exercising outdoors are far superior. Exercise equipment and machines have been shown to contribute to postural distortion, inflexibility and muscle weakness making you less functionally fit. A good example of this is a treadmill, where running takes place on a moving belt rather than static ground. This movement causes our thighs and hip flexors to do most of the work, while barely using the gluteal muscles and hamstrings.
The "low impact" nature of some of these machines leads to a lack of demand placed on our bodies. On the other hand, doing the real thing offers just the right amount of muscle stimulation and impact to create long-term health benefits.
Burn Even More Calories
More calories are burned exercising outdoors as it forces us to overcome gravity, ground reaction, changes in terrain and environmental factors such as wind, heat and cold. These constant changes require our bodies to use more muscles than comparable gym-based exercises, resulting in more calories burned.
Mix Things Up
Gym based exercises can become tedious! Why not try the real thing? Ride a bike or run through the forest trails. Hike through the countryside or climb a mountain to get a real sense of achievement. What better place to do this than in our lovely Commonwealth?
The following are just a few of the fun and inexpensive outdoor activities that provide health and fitness benefits when done on a regular basis: