Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Outdoor exercise has soooooo many health benefits for everyone. It is a powerful tool for overall wellbeing and a total body and mind booster. Here are some of the benefits:

· Regular outdoor exercise is not only good for the body, it also helps to improve mood

· It is cheap! There is no need for membership fees and you can pretty much do any type of exercise you like, whether it be a simple brisk walk or a circuit workout

· Your daily dose of vitamin D – as long as you have as much skin exposed as possible without sunblock for around 20 mins (sunblock blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D). Make sure you don’t burn though! If too hot to handle, exercise at a cooler time of day

· Exercises your mind. The constant change in terrain keeps your mind aware and engaged at all times

· Cleaner air, if exercising in the bush, forest or beach

· Grounding, or earthing, when exercising barefoot on grass or sand. Earthing has been shown to help reduce fatigue, chronic pain and inflammation as well as other ailments

· Connecting with nature. We are so embedded into our modern city lives that most of us forget how important it is to stay connected with nature

These are only just a few of all the benefits. So get out and go! A few things to get you started:

1. Avoid extreme temperatures and too much sun. Although 20 mins or so is needed to produce vitamin D, make sure you don’t burn. Wear a hat and sunglasses and protect skin when necessary

2. Find the best time of day that works for you and fits into your schedule

3. Hydrate!!! Make sure you have a reusable water bottle with you, preferably BPA free.

4. Turn it into a lifestyle. I am not suggesting to completely replace an indoor gym with outdoor exercise. For some people, outdoor exercising is enough, but for all gym lovers out there (including myself) outdoor exercising should still have some room in your life for all the extra benefits you can have that exercising indoors will not provide, like vitamin D

Happy exercising!!!

Claudia De Villiers
Functional Movement & Pilates Instructor for Dr Kathleen & Team