Let’s start by saying- as a Florida native- I know I’m spoiled. The weather here is pretty fantastic year-round and, outside of the dreaded “love bug season,” there are ample opportunities to take workouts to the great outdoors.
I know that’s not the case everywhere. In fact, as I write this, large parts of the country are experiencing record cold and lots of snowfall. But, that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to running on the dreaded treadmill for all your workouts.
In fact, there are some significant benefits to taking your run outside. Whether you’re looking for a mental health boost or a bigger calorie burn, you’ll find it by lacing up and heading to the great outdoors.
Here are some reasons to take your training runs outside this season.
It’s Good for Your Mental Health
The University of Exeter did a study where they compared exercising indoors to exercising outside. People who took a run in the wilderness (not to be confused with taking a walk on the wild side) experienced more positive emotions like revitalization and positive engagement. They also decreased negative emotions, like tension, anger, and depression.
Best of all? Participants who did their workout outside reported greater enjoyment, satisfaction, and higher energy levels.
You’ll Have a More Effective Workout
Whether you’re running for general health or you’re looking to shed a few pounds, you’ll have a more effect sweat session if you take your training outdoors.
Running on a flat treadmill is not as challenging as navigating uneven pavement or trails, which means you’re using fewer muscles when you do it. What’s more, by incorporating uneven or rolling terrain, you’ll actually increase the number of calories burned, which can lead to weight loss (or the opportunity to drink more wine without guilt).
Never Go Without Sun Protection
Wear sunscreen and sun protective clothing any time you’re outdoors to stay safe, and know that your mind and body will thank you!
by Nicole Kurz, Siren Luminary
Follow Nicole on Instagram @nicolemkurz