3 reasons to take your workout outdoors
I know, I know- its cold out there for a lot of us this time of year, but, bear with me, and maybe one of these reasons below will get you to bundle up and take your routine outside. You won't regret it!
1) Beat the Winter blues! I can personally attest to this this season. My mood drastically changed after an hour outside, and you'll warm up before you know it. It's also a great way to avoid feelings of lonliness by being social with a friend instead of being a hermit until Springtime. I've been logging plenty of walking miles this Winter, and the endorphin rush an outdoor workout gives me is a game changer. My friend Dr. Betsy LeRoy is a walking testament, as well. "There is nothing more grounding for my soul than to do a workout outside. Being a part of the world that we so busily rush by in our cars, taking a deep breath, noticing the subtle changes in the seasons; it puts your life and your work into perspective." LeRoy often combines both indoor and outdoor workouts, as she runs to her Orangetheory class and jogs home afterward as a cooldown.
2) Your body will work harder. Outdoor workout guru Kevin Wimmer, owner of ELMNTL Fitness knows this first hand, as ALL of his classes take place outside no matter what Mother Nature has in store! Not only will you burn more calories as your body works harder to regulate your body temperature, but you'll strengthen your heart. Wimmer tells us that "cold weather makes the heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. A regular exerciser with cardiovascular endurance can make their heart muscle even stronger with these cold weather sessions!"
3) Boost your immune system. You CAN still get your dose of Vitamin D in the Winter, and even reap partial benefits on an overcast day, but especially when the sun is out. Dr. LeRoy states that "though you should first take the advice of your primary care or dermatologist, as well as take into account your own skin tones and predisposition for skin conditions, 15 to 20 minutes outside at any activity prior to covering up with sunscreen gives us a chance to get a little Vitamin D." This is more relevant in Summer, but a little outdoor exposure or a Vitamin D supplement in Winter can make a big difference. Wimmer adds that we can also clear out our lungs. "As colder weather sets in more people stay indoors with recycled warm air, and that creates the perfect storm for cold and flu season. Fresh air, even cold, clears out your lungs and head."
As always, check with your doctor before beginning a new outdoor routine, especially in extremely cold temperatures.
So go throw on an extra layer and get ready to feel revitalized after an outdoor sweat session!