Are you tired of the same old routine at the gym or feeling burnt out from indoor workouts? While an indoor workout can be super convenient but as renowned writer Laura Ingalls Wilder rightly says, "Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."
It is time to step out in nature and discover the wonders of holistic fitness! Holistic fitness aims at striking a balance between the well-being of your mind, body and spirit. But what exactly does this mean?
It means that fitness is more than just physical strength and endurance. It includes other factors such as nutrition, emotional & mental health and self-care and mindfulness. You can nurture these aspects of your health by using the rejuvenating power of nature!
A study conducted by the University of Essex found that as little as five minutes of exercise in a natural green environment can boost self-esteem and mood. Here are some benefits of working out in nature every once in a while:
1. Break your monotonous workout routine: Outdoor workouts offer a refreshing change from the monotony of indoor exercises. Whether it's hiking, cycling, or even a brisk walk, physical activities in nature engage different muscle groups and challenge your body in unique ways.
2. Benefit from sunlight: Sunshine is not just a source of Vitamin D, it also has a positive impact on our mood. It releases ‘feel good hormones’ in your body, which in turn boost your happiness levels!
3. Enhance your mental health: In today’s digital era, we’re constantly looking at screens and our mind is cluttered with information. Researchers at Stanford University found that spending time in nature can improve focus while reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
4. Improved creativity and productivity: Research suggests that spending time in nature can boost creativity, improve cognitive function and mindfulness. Working out outdoors can provide a stimulating and refreshing environment, leading to increased productivity and innovative thinking.
5. Social Interaction & Community: Outdoor exercises and games often attracts like-minded individuals, providing opportunities for social interaction and forming communities centred around fitness and outdoor activities.
Spending time outdoors clearly offers a wide array of benefits, allowing you to feel rejuvenated!
Some easy yet effective outdoor workouts and practices to get you started could be:
- Yoga: Nature makes for the perfect backdrop to practise some asanas and deepens one’s mind-body connection. Check out our previous Blog: What You Need For A Good Stretch Routine, to know more.
- HIIT Workout: Combines strength workout with cardio and indulge in High-Intensity Interval Training to raise your heart rate. It is ideal for outdoor workouts as it requires little to no equipment - just some dumbbells would suffice!
- Water rowing: If you have access to a water body, indulge in natural water-rowing and allow the soothing sound of water to refresh you.
- Outdoor park bench workout: Head out to any park near your home and pick a bench. You’d be surprised at just how many exercises you can do. Click here for a full-body workout routine using a bench!
- Cardio: Cardio activities like cycling, swimming, hiking or skiing can be great calorie burners. Skipping rope could make for a fun workout too!
Remember, it is not just about the destination but the journey itself. Lace-up and let nature guide you towards a healthier, happier you.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we talk about the various fitness equipment pieces that can make your outdoor workout more convenient. In the meanwhile, do check out the Cycling Bears website and pick your favourites!