Updated: Jan 15
You might be asking yourself, is it good to workout outside? We all have a craving for sunshine. It makes us happy, it's scientifically proven, but sometimes you don't need science to tell you that. Just go outside and you will feel it mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Living in a place that has all four seasons is amazing! But for some, it might be a little depressing once the cold winter months hit. It may not be too appealing to go outside in the freezing cold. But there are many activities you can do, even in the snow! It's a matter of perspective and finding something you can love in all of the season.
In a 2014 study at the University of Michigan, researchers found that nature walks were associated with lower depression, less perceived stress, and improved mental well-being. We're not talking about just outside though, we're talking about some good ole mother nature, but anything is better than nothing!
Once the warmer months hit, it's time to take your movement to the sand at the beach, the mountains, forests, or even the grass at your local park.
Taking your movement outdoors is entirley free! Going to the gym has its benefits of course but it can be costly. Take all of the money you save on your gym membership and invest in yourself in a different way! You could buy a slackline, a new backpack for hiking, snowshoes, new barefoot-style shoes to walk in, a kettlebell, or higher quality foods - to name a few!
Soak in the Sunshine
When you pair movement, like yoga or parkour, and the outdoors you are giving your body what it needs, which will lead to an array of benefits like, lower stress and lower blood pressure. Plus, a little Vitamin D from the sun. Multiple studies prove this is in fact a true statement. Vitamin D has been considered to be a hormone and if you know anything about hormones they play a huge part in your body's functionality.
What to do Outdoors
The possibilities are endless. What is the best outdoor exercise? Depending on your style of movement, it depends. Almost any exercise can be done outside versus inside the gym though.
Here are a few ideas for summer, spring, and fall:
Parkour & Freerunning
Basketball or any sport
Swim in a lake or ocean
And for winter:
Ski the slopes
Wim Hof Method (Cold Lake Dip)
Cross Country Ski
Build a snowman
Take Your Equipment Outside!
Can you take your gym equipment outdoors? Yes! All three of our coaches here at The Holistic Ape take their movement outdoors. For example, Jake loves training his clients with battle ropes, kettlebells, clubs, and the steel mace at our local lake beach or the local park in Coeur d'Alene, ID. Taylor and Josh love doing yoga in the park or taking the slackline outside.
As far as bigger items like your squat rack or bench press, we suppose you could take it outside but you might want to think about protecting it from the elements as well. Perhaps a dumbbell or kettlebell might be better choices here.
Want to gain even more benefits? Try walking or doing your yoga practice barefoot in the grass at the park or the sandy beach. We aren't going to get into the benefits of going barefoot has in this blog post but stay tuned for future posts!
Thanks for reading!