Now that it’s not too cold outside, and before it gets to hot outside, why not take advantage of exercising in the great outdoors. Sure, I love the gym, I teach at the gym and I am a big believer in belonging to one, but that doesn’t mean the outdoors isn’t there for us all as a wonderful option. Outside workouts provide many benefits including being “open” 24/7; cutting down on visual and mental clutter and chatter from other people, classes and televisions, escaping crowds; better sleep from the fresh air, and fresh perspectives as mother nature is constantly changing up the environment. A British study of people suffering from depression reported an amazing 71% drop in depression levels after something as simple as a walk through a park! Similarly, scientists in Finland noted that people who spend time in “green” settings experience lower levels of stress, anger and aggression while increasing their happiness levels. An added bonus is that being in nature can boost the immune system.
So during these beautiful days of spring, why not consider taking a break from the treadmill to get outside hiking, walking or running. Skip a spin class and hit the trail with your real bicycle. Take your yoga/Pilates mat out in back or to a park. If you are a lap swimmer, try hitting the beach and swimming along a shoreline. I won’t be offended if you opt out of some of my classes this spring, so that you can do some bonding with Mother Nature. As Joe Weider, the co-founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders says, “There’s nothing more conducive to exercising than warm weather and sunshine.”
My very first physical exercise of this day will be discarding lots of leftovers. That will be followed by some indoor and some outdoor workouts! I call that the best of both worlds.