Besides the fact that it’s pretty depressing to go from indoor desk/chair/office situation to an indoor gym vibe where you get to exercise on a treadmill/bike/machine like a trained rat, there are actual scientific reasons as to why you would get stronger, fitter, hotter when you train the way, well, probably the way God intended!
You’ve heard of “earthing”, eh? Actually not something invented by the hippies but in fact researched and proven by the Japanese. We believe everything those guys say, right? I mean, everyone knows the Japanese invented Tabata [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izumi_Tabata] so clearly those people KNOW. They just KNOW! Don’t argue, go train outside and you will benefit from the trees and you will be loads happier and all that. Google it. It’s the truth, training outside will help to get you off the Xanax.
- Burn more calories
Yip. Think about it. Actual terrain. Obviously running on real ground and having to account for obstacles and wind resistance is going to have more impact on your energy expenditure than running on a treadmill in a sanitised environment or training on a nice “clean” gym floor with special equipment that only trains a couple of muscles at a time. It’s more functional and it’s real life.
- Less germs. Ahem.
It’s very last season to be a germaphobe but you know that deep down you can’t wait to wash your hands and burn that gym towel after you’ve sweated up a session. I prefer the concept of clean dirt. Dirt is cool. Dirt is clean. Flu sucks.
- Have fun
Training outside opens up so many options to you. Your workout will be more varied, creative and enjoyable. A good trainer (like me, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) will be able to use the terrain to challenge you and keep you engaged. If you have a bad trainer, ah well, you can always enjoy the scenery!
You live in South Africa. You think you get a lot of sun. Do you really, though? If you are stuck in the office for several hours a day you may actually benefit from a little more Vitamin D. There’s a reason we all feel happy on the beach – it’s all those rays dude! Medical News Today tells us that exposure to sunlight can help to prevent or slow the progression of cancer, prevent diabetes, support the immune system and regulate insulin levels (insulin is that temperamental fat storage hormone). Getting outdoors and having fun in the sun is ultimately going to help you be a healthier, slimmer individual.
- You keep showing up!
Have commitment issues? Find it hard to stick with a programme? Get lazy on the drive home? So there’s this super fancy study that was done by a whole bunch of clever people [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21291246] that demonstrates that people who train outdoors are not only happier, but they love it soooo much, that they find it easier to keep showing up. That’s right, they can’t give up. It’s like an addiction. A good one, you know, like that relationship you have with coffee that you’re totally OK with. The benefit of this is that if you keep showing up and keep training, it amounts to consistency. The keys to achieving anything great in life are, 1) Planning, 2) Action, and 3) Consistency. A little determination goes a long way too. When you consistently train, you will see the changes in your physique and attitude that you have been craving your whole life.
In all honesty, none of this is rocket science, so why do we need doctors to tell us this? Intuitively, you know that when you get out and about, you simply feel better about it. If weight loss is your primarily goal, you will definitely use more energy and therefore burn more fat in the process. If you are struggling with depression, you can’t help but feel better when you are training in the sunshine and meeting people. Look outside of yourself, take a chance and get out there. If you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for your dog, please take Skippy for a walk.