If you’ve been stuck inside this winter, your body is undoubtedly craving natural light. Give it the jolt it needs by taking your exercise outside. You can immediately feel the energy of Mother Nature out there and its exhilarating. When somebody says, Go outside and get a breath of fresh air, that has real meaning there really is something tangible about going out into the environment and getting fresh oxygen in your lungs. When you’re inside you’re not getting the direct sunlight that is important for vitamin D3 production.
There are other benefits to exercising outside. Think about riding a spinning bike vs. riding a regular bike. When you’re on a fixed bike indoors, you don’t have to balance yourself or deal with wind and other elements. Your core, arms and back are going to get a much better workout on a road bike because you have to deal with those extra conditions.
The options for outdoor activities are almost endless. Consider beach volleyball, tennis, hiking, skateboarding, parasailing, surfing even just a walk around the neighborhood will help you connect with the world around you.
Finding something you love to do outdoors can also give your indoor workouts more purpose.I train certain ways in the gym to get better for my seasonal sports. In winter, I cross-train to make sure my legs and knees are ready for snowboarding, while in the summer, I make sure my arm strength is up to the task for wakeboarding. So try taking your workout to the streets (or the trails, or the mountains, or the ocean). If you’re outside and getting to experience nature, its stimulating for the nervous system and for the soul.
Brett Hoebel is an international fitness expert and was a trainer on season 11 of “The Biggest Loser.” Learn more about his fitness programs at bretthoebel.com.