Buying a gym membership is often the natural inclination of people who are vying to adhere to a resolution of being more active. It’s easy to think that you need access to fancy equipment and locker rooms in order to get in a proper workout. Not only can the gym and its culture seem stale at points, but they also may stifle your workout physically and mentally. There are so many benefits to switching up your workout routine and choosing to exercise outside instead.
Humans have a natural tendency to seek change; if you choose to exercise in the same environment day after day, it may become more difficult to find motivation and stay focused. Finding running or biking routes outside provides a change of scenery and thus new things for your mind to focus on while exercising. Even doing a yoga routine outside during nice weather will feel different (and better) than trying to find your zen in a gym. Workouts feel a lot shorter when you are experiencing something new!
Additionally, being in nature and soaking in that vitamin D promotes a boost in your mood. Especially in colder months, getting outside in the sunlight and walking for even 10-20 minutes could help battle the winter blues.
If you’re a runner or biker, picking a route outside instead of running on an indoor track or treadmill will do wonders for your fitness. Your body will get used to more of the unexpected in terms of terrain, changes in elevation, and wind resistance, which results in a more well-rounded workout. Your body doesn’t grow when it is constantly subjected to monotony; your workouts become maintenance instead of enhancements.
And, of course, skipping the gym and going outside will save you time and money. Gym memberships can get very expensive, especially if you’re choosing a pricier place. Exercising outside means you don’t have to pay a monthly/yearly fee to work out. You also won’t necessarily have to drive out of your way if you choose to stay at home, which saves a lot of time and gas money. You can leave your house, finish an awesome workout, and then come back home to use your shower quickly before taking on the rest of your day! No longer will you have to prepare and pack your bag for your post-workout shower and makeup session in the gym locker room.
There are so many benefits to working out in the great outdoors, and they should most definitely be taken advantage of! Next time you pick up a dumbbell and have to suppress a bored sigh, think about ditching the gym and using Mother Nature to aid in your exercise routine.