At last we are leaving the cold dark days of winter behind and finally, spring is upon us.
For this time of year, the weather has been dryer & warmer than the average. Recently in Cardiff, we have been blessed with clear blue skies and illuminating sunshine, as temperatures hit 22 degrees the city was bustling with happiness and positivity.
When possible I took this opportunity to take my clients out of the artificially lit gyms and into the fresh air for some hard and stimulating workouts. Here are a few great reasons to take your workout outside.
1) Sunlight, exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D. This is essential for bone health as well as helping to reduce the risk of certain cancers such as ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer & colon cancer.
Exposure to sunlight also promotes the release of a chemical in our brain called serotonin, this is responsible for improving mood and generally making us feel happier
2) Training outdoors is harder. Hills, uneven ground and constantly varying surface types all make for a harder and more challenging work out.
There is also wind resistance to take into account. If you run at the same speed on a treadmill and outdoors into a headwind your body will be forced to work harder doing the later, in turn burning more calories.
3) Mental stimulation. So often in the gym environment, there is very little natural light or varying scenery to keep your mind stimulated. If you take your training outdoors you can even pick the scenery you most enjoy. In Cardiff, there are loads of beautiful spots that you can visit to switch up your training, whether it’s a water view along the barrage or a lush green background in Bute Park.
Training outside also gives you a sense of having worked out, when you run on a treadmill you may break into a sweat, but after a few minutes it doesn’t feel like you have been running at all. When you run outside however you find that you have visual cues of distance run, the elements make it harder and you get covered in muck, dirt and quite often rain (just be sure to wash it all off) which may not seem like much to some but to others its the mental motivation which is needed to progress.
Thanks for reading,
Toby King the personal trainer in Cardiff