You wake up, look outside and notice it’s an absolutely beautiful day. It’s the kind of day that makes your heart sing: The birds are chirping, the air is clear and there’s not a cloud in sight. How great would it be to read a book under a tree or meet your friends for an alfresco brunch? But you can’t — you indulged a bit yesterday, so today’s workout is simply nonnegotiable. However, the thought of slaving away in the gym sounds like an unfair punishment.
It’s time to consider the many benefits of moving your workout to the great outdoors.
“If you are in a warm location, the extra heat helps raise your body’s temperature during your workout, which can help burn more calories,” says Tiffiny Fambro, MPH, an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and SCW Fitness–certified personal trainer who owns Build Body Wealth. “If you are working out in the daytime, the sun’s rays will provide your body with vitamin D naturally, which aids in the absorption of calcium. Plus, outdoor workouts give you a chance to relax and reconnect with nature. This in turn helps your mind and body become relaxed and calm during your workout.”
When performing outdoor workouts, you’ll find no shortage of props available to use as your equipment if you have a little creativity. Fambro provides six ideas for transferring your workout outside — ideas that will still leave you huffing and puffing, but at least it won’t be of recirculated gym air!
“Be mindful to stay hydrated before, during and after your outdoor workouts,” Fambro says. “Increased heat can quickly draw water out of your body and you may not know you have become dehydrated until it’s too late. And make sure to use sunscreen — even if it’s an overcast day, the sun is still giving off rays.”