Exercising outdoors is one of the great joys of spring. The weather is becoming warmer, the mornings and evenings are getting lighter. There seems to be more opportunity to make the best of it.
If you’re considering outdoor exercise this season, here are some things you could take into account in preparation for moving the workout outside.
Benefits Of Outdoor Exercise
Fresh air and exercise together are an excellent combination. In particular, when gyms are shut and even when they do reopen, much of your workout will be interrupted by stopping and cleaning down equipment before and after use. The most significant pull to outdoor exercise for many fitness enthusiasts at the moment is the ability to get on with your workout, uninterrupted by relentless anti-bac wiping. Additionally, you’re able to exercise outdoors without wearing a mask.
Exposing yourself to increased levels of Vitamin D from the sunlight can be an essential mood booster. It can reduce depressive symptoms even when taken in supplement form. It can also boost the immune system and positively affect many diseases, notably seasonal flu.
Increasing the amount of time spent outdoors can improve the quality of sleep at night. If sleep is something that you find problematic, this could be a key benefit, especially if your sleep is disrupted to the point that it harms your recovery from exercise.
If you’re able to exercise in a “green space” like a park, or forest, there are many additional benefits to being in nature. The exercise itself doesn’t need to be vigorous either, with benefits like reducing stress, improving your cognitive function and sense of well-being while being accessible with a simple outdoor walk.
How To Effectively Exercise Outdoors In Spring
The most important part of starting any exercise routine is enjoying your exercise. When you like what you’re doing, there’s far more chance that you’ll stick with it consistently over the long term. Long term, regular exercise is what brings the most incredible health rewards.
People that want to get into a routine with their exercise will be excited to know that research suggests habits are more likely to last when they’re done outside. People who regularly exercise outdoors are more likely to participate in moderate to vigorous activity than people who exercise indoors. They also express a greater want and intention to repeat the session.
There’s no “right way” to exercise, provided it fits your goals, and you enjoy it. If you don’t like running, but you enjoy walking your dog and hiking - do that. If you would prefer to do some yoga at the park, that’s great too.
Considerations for Spring
As the weather becomes warmer, remember to wear comfortable layers of clothing. You’ll likely want to take some layers off as you warm up from exercise. You may also be more thirsty during your workout than you were in winter, so bringing a bottle of water with you and staying hydrated is essential.
If you experience hayfever, you may find exercising outdoors can trigger an allergic response. You might overcome this by taking an anti-histamine before leaving your home. Relatedly, if you’re asthmatic, you may want to bring an asthma inhaler with you during your workout. You can keep your phone, keys and inhaler in a convenient exercise belt so you can keep your hands free.
In the UK, we spend a lot of time complaining about the overcast weather. Still, the UV rays can be harmful to our skin when the sun does come out, even when it doesn’t feel especially warm. If you’re exercising during the hottest part of the day, between midday and around 3 pm, you might want to consider applying sun cream.
Exercising outdoors in the spring is a great pleasure. Any type of exercise that you enjoy is excellent. You’re far more likely to consistently stick to it for long enough to experience the benefits. Getting set up to head out is easy.
Apply your sun cream, take your anti-histamine if you need to, and let someone know where you’re going and what time you expect to be back. This is especially important if you’re exercising in a remote place where you may not have a reliable phone signal. Stick to well-lit areas if you’re exercising after dusk, and remember to enjoy the movement.
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