Spring weather has arrived to Southwestern Ontario where I live and train and it feels a little too good to be true. Dark mornings on the treadmill or indoor track doing speed work because it was too slippery to do it safely outside are things of the past.
As the weather thaws, it is so exciting to get outside for long runs and rides in the sunshine and watch the world wake up with green grass, robins and people getting outdoors again after a long winter. As I usher in the summer months where I spend as many waking outdoors as possible, I wanted to share my list of top ten reasons it is better to exercise outside:
1. There is scenery. Nothing is more boring than watching the wall at your local gym or the floor of your living room from the bike. Having changing scenery to look at helps the time pass quickly during workouts.
2. There is sunshine. You get the added benefit of that healthy glow that only sunshine can provide and some vitamin D to keep you healthy.
3. There is a variety of terrain. When you do all of your exercises indoors, you do not have the benefit of rolling hills, soft and hard surfaces and obstacles to climb over. The variety of terrain offers muscular training benefits that would not get otherwise.
4. You have an added benefit of weather elements. If you are wanting to improve your strength, exercising outside against the wind or rain is an excellent way to improve.
5. You can bring friends. Nothing is better than doing a hike, run or cycle with friends outdoors. It keeps you accountable to get out there in the first place and having someone with you keeps you outside longer.
6. It’s cheaper than the gym. It costs nothing to grab a pair of running shoes and head out to your favourite trail.
7. It is great for your mental health. Exercising outdoors gives a much needed break away from screens, ringing phones and responsibilities. Just grab your running shoes, step outside and breathe.
8. You can explore new places. Heading in a new direction helps you to explore an area of your neighbourhood or city that you normally wouldn’t see.
I am looking forward to taking the 30 x 30 nature challenge with Genuine Health and the David Suzuki Foundation and I invite everyone to join me! You can follow my adventures at lacesandlattes.com