We’ve all noticed the evenings drawing in and given into the urge to turn on the central heating. While exercising outdoors may now be limited to walking to the train station or the gym, we thought we would take the opportunity to outline the benefits of continuing to exercise outdoors!
Burn more calories
When you’re exercising outdoors, your body works harder to keep warm resulting in more calories burned. A fantastic incentive when indulging in wintery comfort food!
Improve bone health and boost immune system
Exposure to sunlight in the day will help vitamin D production, when your heart rate improves with exercises, cells responsible for fighting infections and viruses travel more quickly through the body and get to work faster.
Lift your mood
Exercise increases endorphin production in the body and improves our ability to cope with stress. Additionally, some research has shown that exercising in natural areas such as woodland or coastal paths correlates with decreased depression and increased feelings of revitalisation and energy levels.
Improve your self-esteem
Along with improving physical fitness, running outdoors means you can be smug/ proud of yourself for resisting the urge to stay on the sofa! The other bonus is variety – the ability to vary runs as opposed to treadmill running is highly beneficial and will help in preventing boredom. There is also an opinion that treadmill running can increase the risk of overuse injury due to the lack of variety of surfaces.
One final point – stay safe when exercising outdoors. Wear appropriate clothing, reflective or high visibility clothing, warm up with some brisk walking and dynamic stretches and keep hydrated.