At a time when we have more gyms, more books and access to a vast amount of information on exercise on the internet, why are there people struggling with being unfit and overweight?
There are numerous ways to combat excess fat and get your body into ultimate shape, but starting with the basics – there are some key changes to your workouts you can do which will not only boost your mood and love for exercising, but have significant effects on your fitness levels and appearance.
Do it outside!!
I’m not denying that gyms can absolutely be useful and a far better option then sitting on the sofa but if you’ve ever woken up with a “foggy” head or still half asleep – I wouldn’t suggest a stuffy room full of air-con is option number 1.
Research has shown that we can burn up to 20%/30% more calories outside. Why? Because our core temperature will always work to keep around 36.8 °C. It takes energy to do this, the bodies currency for this is calories, and so you will burn more calories by simply being outside, let alone the many other benefits associated with training outdoors. Likewise if its warm you sweat more, your body is equally working to keep from overheating, which all takes energy!
1) Training outside means benefiting from the fresh air, pumping your body full of oxygen and releasing happy hormones called endorphins. If you work a regular 9-5 office job, as I have done for many years, you spend pretty much all day indoors and sitting down! Between commuting, the desk, and commuting again – it’s more important than ever to take the opportunity when you can to get fresh air.
2) If there are classes or bootcamps local to you, give them a go. The social benefits of group training are well documented and in a nut shell mean better results because you push yourself harder than training alone, and the camaraderie of a group means you turn up more often and its much more fun!
3) Vitamin D is made in the skin and is made from sunlight, it is essential to take in this nutrient which helps protect our immune system and helps in bone growth and maintenance of bone to prevent such diseases as osteoporosis.
4) Fresh air takes you away from bacterial breeding grounds of air conditioned gyms and mats which a hundred other people were on yesterday!
5) Endorphins: The outdoor has a much more immediate effect on your brain patterns and if you have ever gone for a run or exercised outside you will know that the effect is hugely more invigorating than running on a treadmill.
6) Proprioception : Training outdoors gives us a natural terrain that works constantly on our proprioception, (and therefore our balancing ability) a vital part in our everyday health, and well being. The running machine for instance changes our natural gait and if you have ever compared running times, indoor to out you will know they are much easier on a machine, and that is because it takes 103 muscles to take just one step. On a machine your body is being forced to work differently and the support muscles do not need to work nearly quite as hard.
The benefits of training outdoors are loud and clear so if you can – do!