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My favorite time of the year is finally here, and that means taking workouts outside of the gym! The weather is warmer, the sun is out longer, and we’re running out of excuses to avoid the outdoors. There are very few things I find as enjoyable and productive as waking up and getting in a good run outside during the spring. The sun is bright, the birds are chirping, and I get my day off to a great start! There are so many benefits that come from outdoor exercise. Whether you’re hitting up bike trails, going on a hike, or taking in nature by running at your local park, outdoor exercise looks more and more appealing each day.
Exercising Becomes Fun
I recently joined a running club with hopes that I would feel more motivated to get outside and have experiences running in different environments. Well, I certainly have reaped quite a few unexpected benefits from these outdoor runs. The first thing I noticed after making outdoor cardio a routine was that the length of my runs significantly increased. Running was less about the distance and more about the fun I was having. I was challenging myself and having fun doing it. I also found myself running longer distances compared to when I was on a machine, because the diverse terrains were interesting and offered something different. This also meant I was burning more calories, which is always a plus.
The Workouts Provide Motivating Scenery
The best part of an outdoor workout is the beauty of exercising outside. The scenery makes an exercise much more enjoyable and productive. When I don’t have to stare at a screen on a treadmill, boredom is less of an issue and I’m not counting down the minutes or miles until my workout is over. Sometimes resorting to an exercise indoors is necessary, but I personally recommend getting outside if you’re able to for a good dose of nature!
It Doesn’t Require a Paid Membership
Make use of your neighborhood and community parks – the best part of exercising outdoors is that it’s free! Now, so many parks have great equipment that can be used for a variety of workouts. You can even use something as simple as a bench to do triceps-dips or a set of monkey bars to add some pull-ups to your routine. Utilizing your parks and recreational areas is a convenient and inexpensive way to make working out more fun.
Exercising outdoors can help manage stress! Joining running, walking, and hiking groups is a great way to meet others in your community, socialize with individuals that share your goals, and can support your mental health. Not only are you able to take in the fresh air, but you also might feel more productive and relaxed after a scenic workout or challenging exercise in different terrains. I can see a difference in my own outlook after a productive run around my neighborhood park on a sunny afternoon.
I am a huge advocate of turning exercise time into social time. Getting friends and family involved in outdoor activities is a great way to stay motivated and makes you feel a stronger connection to your community. Take a soccer ball to the park, walk the dog with your kids, or plan a bike ride with friends. Not only is this a fun way to make memories with friends and young ones, it also reinforces a healthy outlook and shows us how fun exercise can really be!
Now hang up those heavy winter coats and get outside! What are some of your favorite outdoor activities? Share in the comments below!