Using nature to nurture your body

3rd March 2016

I totally understand that the allure of an air-conditioned gym & the prospect of a nice sauna afterwards may be appealing, especially in these winter months, but one thing about these lovely gyms is that they can become incredible predictable and quite frankly dull!

I totally understand that if you aren’t an outdoorsy kind of person this may take some convincing …but let me try and persuade you otherwise.

I am probably in the minority in saying this, but if I have the choice of training inside a toasty gym or getting wrapped up (it’s bloomin cold right now!) and getting outside, even if it’s raining, then I’m going to choose the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good gym session or class, as you can probably tell from my Instagram, but nothing beats getting outside and challenging yourself whether that be going for a run or working out in your garden or park. Now is the time with the days getting longer to get outside and embrace the elements!

What???’ I hear you all cry, is she crazy? It’s freezing outside!  It is cold, I grant you that, but hear me out, these are my top 5 reasons why you should shun the sweatbox gym and give Mother Nature a whirl.

Parks are packed with fun things to incorporate into your workout. A park bench, for example – why not try doing some tricep dips, step-ups, or Russian lunges. Experiment with your running, try shuttle sprints between trees, or some hill sprints. (I used to live in Leeds and there was a run known as Kirkstall Hills, 12 hills along Kirkstall road…boom! A hill training workout on your doorstep!)

Don’t get stuck in a rut
It’s pretty easy to go in the gym, bash out your workout, shower and then head home. But the problem comes when your body knows exactly what to expect from your session, especially when machines/gym equipment are involved. The best way to get results and to challenge yourself is to always have that ‘fear factor’ when you approach your workout.
Something as simple as changing your workout environment to outdoors could be enough to give you that boost to really challenge yourself.

It’s free!!!
Yes, that is correct it is free! Need I say anymore?

Mood booster
Just being outside for me personally lifts my mood! Also, surely it’s nicer exercising in fresh air rather than a sweaty gym.

Burn baby burn
As a rule you tend to work harder when training outside, adapting to the terrain and elements, therefore you are likely to burn more calories when you train outside rather than indoors. For example, running against the wind would mean you will more likely be burning more calories than running indoors on a treadmill. Simply by taking your run outdoors rather than on a treadmill means you are running on a more varied terrain using different muscles and therefore making your body work harder.

I’m not saying all your workouts should be outdoors, far from it in fact. Try aiming to incorporate one workout outside every week or every other week into your training plan, whether it be a run, cycle, circuit or even group fitness class. I promise you won’t look back and you’ll be at one with nature before you know it!

Anna x

Comments ( 3 )

  1. I love running outdoors as it gives me the chance to get my 9 year old daughter to ride her bike along side me. Mind you, it was a mistake to give her a whistle as she’s a tough coach! Great blog.

  2. Hello Anna, Lovely blog today I love the outdoors, I go for a lovely walk when I’m on my day off as I love the fresh air, sorry don’t do a lot of exercise myself but I go for a long walk to keep me going, I’m on my legs all day so I do a lot of exercise there, keep up with the blogs, take care xx

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