The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

After a beautiful walk last night across the fields, I was able to take a moment and notice how magical it is when you can feel spring in the air and see everything coming to life after the winter. It reminds me of why exercising outside, at any time of the year, is so restorative to mental, as well as physical, health as you really feel like you are engaging with nature at the same time as improving your fitness.

 The benefits of exercising outdoors are many and far-reaching but it may be a while since you exercised, or you may not know where to start. Read on and hopefully you will be inspired to lace up your running shoes and head into nature with SLJ!

 Mood – being outside and exercising are both recognised ways to help improve low mood and anxiety by increasing feel-good endorphins and increasing serotonin levels (often referred to as our ‘happy hormone’) 

Interestingly a studycarried out in 2015 by Stanford University, found that students who walked for just an hour outside every day improved their health by feeling less anxious than those students who did not. There are countless studies and anecdotal evidence to show that people have benefitted from being outdoors and have recorded lower incidences of stress, lower BP and lower cortisol levels (which is one of markers used for measuring stress in the body)

 Vitamin D– We need this essential nutrient to ensure that our bones, teeth and muscles remain healthy. 

 If you live in the UK then you can only absorb Vitamin D through sunlight from the end of March/early April until the end of September. It is important to note that vitamin D can only be absorbed on bare skin, so apply the SPF after the skin has had a decent exposure to the sunlight (around 30 mins) ensuring that you do apply SPF afterwards!

 At SLJ we very much advocate the benefit of group exercise as well as being huge fans of outdoor training and there has been much reported on the positive effects of training in a group. Group exercise helps with motivation, loneliness, compliance and general enjoyment. We are social creatures and sometimes a session in the outdoors with a group of like-minded people can feel like therapy. We come away feeling mentally and physically restored. 

 These are just some of the many reasons why SLJ remains so popular. Sign up for one of our forthcoming courses and, as well as joining a fabulous and inspiring group of women that will help you to reach your exercise goals, you will also be able to download our ’14 days to get you fit’ plan for FREE.

 What are you waiting for?!