Jun 21, 2024


Why you should exercise outdoors – a few thoughts from our Resident Fitness Expert, Dean Hodgkin

Despite your best intentions, it’s not always possible to get to the gym. But then, at this time of year, would you really want to be sweating it out on the treadmill when you could be jogging on lush green grass accompanied by the smell of flowers and calming sounds of birdsong?


Fresh air training has always been popular in warmer climates where it’s common for personal trainers to shift classes outside and get creative with the natural resources to hand such as trees, benches, stones or steps.

Exercising outside is a great way to add variety to your routine and whether it’s a park or just your garden, there are countless ways you can create a safe, effective and fun outdoor workout. A tree trunk for press-ups and even puddles, shadows, fences and lamp posts can be used as an obstacle or an exercise station.

Research at James Cook University of Queensland, Australia, found that outdoor runners who focus on the environment feel less anxious, tired and depressed than indoor runners, who tend to focus more internally. This leads to better performance and so quicker results.

Also, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health Research, reveals there are great mood-uplifting gains to be made from exercising outdoors, primarily linked to the experience stimulating the senses much more than the inert gym environment.

Another bonus is that battling undulating terrain can lead to a greater calorie burn when comparing like-for-like exercises indoors. If you also consider that the NHS suggests 20% of us are deficient in Vitamin D, then taking your workout outside promises to be a real win-win.

So what are we really waiting for? Come rain or shine, lets make the most of the great outdoors with a bit of al fresco exercise.

Our Heart+Soul Fitness timetable includes several different activities to help you to reconnect with nature to boost your well-being. For details, contact ext 318 or fitness@ragdalehall.co.uk

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