Being outdoors is something that I have always loved. I grew up surrounded by the outdoors; walking with my family most weekends, camping and doing a lot of cross country running. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved the adventure of exploring new places – so now I’m older I love spending my time outdoors in nature whenever I can. The outdoors is possibly why I could never imagine my life living down in London city, because I love the Peaks, Moors and Dales way too much up North! Honestly, my idea of a perfect weekend is hiking somewhere with minimal phone signal and views as far as the eye can see.
So these past few months, I figured why not combine my two favourite things – nature and fitness. As a result, I’ve started taking my workout outdoors a little more and included more runs, outdoor hill sprints, circuits and yoga flows into my training schedule. I love how it makes me feel, and I wanted to share why I loved it so much, so you guys can try it too!
I spend a lot of my day indoors
The first point and probably one of the most important for me, is that I spend a lot of my day indoors. I work from home, and sit at my desk pretty much 90% of my work day. I’ve started walking Sam to work (not as a chaperone) for a little extra exercise. But other than that, I rarely move between the hours of 10am and 5pm! Obviously every now and again I’m out and about for an event, or content creation – but the majority of my time is spent within the four walls of my apartment (and it’s a small apartment at that). Because of that, I absolutely love to get outdoors for my workouts a couple of times a week to give myself some fresh air and sunshine. Don’t get me wrong, the gym is great, and that definitely is a release for me – but there is something about nature that calms me in a whole new way. I feel free, I feel happy and I feel calm. Which is a huge thing for such a stress-y gal like myself!
i like to explore
Secondly, I get bored very easily so training outdoors allows me to make things different every session. It’s a new place to be able to explore and enjoy the surroundings – so is perfect for the days when I just can’t bring myself to find the motivation to sweat away indoors. This is particularly perfect when I’m running, and means I can find different routes and scenery to experience on my runs. It stops things getting boring, and I’ve found has helped me run / walk further without even feeling like I was struggling because I was so focused on the views and the process of not getting lost (yep thats me most of the time). Over the past couple of years I’ve made up a list of some amazing amazing and beautiful outdoor locations, so maybe I should do a recommendations post about this in the future for you guys?
It’s Helped My Mental Health
Probably the closest to my heart reasons for me loving working out outdoors is that during my recovery from depression and anxiety, the outdoors really played a huge part. During my recovery, I spent a lot of time away from a gym and instead went for long walks and runs. Personally, I feel that the outdoors was a massive contribution to my recovery and helped me to slowly get better. Sometimes it was the only activity I did that day, but it was an hour or two where I felt confident to leave the house by myself – with just a pair of trainers, some headphones and be able to just feel calm and free.
I’m aware that everyone is different, but even if you haven’t experienced mental health – I honestly think nature and the outdoors can be an amazing way to de-stress and help to manage your emotions. We can’t deny that we live in a crazy, fast paced world and sometimes it can be hard to just stop and be calm for a moment. Especially if you are someone who finds meditation difficult, I think that walking / running in a wood, park or trail can be an amazing alternative to find calm and peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It’s Improved my Fitness
When I got into health and fitness you would think that my cardiovascular fitness would improve too. Don’t get me wrong, it has – but not as much as you would expect. I predominantly spent 90% of my fitness journey lifting weights so my cardiovascular system was rarely tested, particularly for prolonged periods of time. Since starting to do more outdoor workouts I’ve focused more on pace and time to increase the intensity rather than weights (as I would in the gym). That has helped me to work on my ‘overall fitness level’ rather than just my strength and I feel amazing for it. I feel fitter than ever, so if you feel gym workouts no longer ‘challenge’ you – take your workout outdoors and try something new. You will be surprised at how difficult and different your workout is!
It’s totally Free!
Finally, remember that outdoor workouts are completely free!! All you need is yourself, your trainers or a yoga matt (depending on what you fancy doing). There are no time constraints, no gym memberships or day passes – just you and your calm. Sometimes we need something different in our lives from time to time, and this can definitely be one of yours.
I encourage every one of my readers to try an outdoor workout, whether it be a run, walk, hill sprint, yoga flow or body weight circuit. The possibilities are endless, and I promise you will feel incredddddible afterwards. What is your favourite workout to complete outdoors, I would love to hear about any ideas you guys have in the comments below?
Love Beth, x