By Aparna Mele
Not all training needs to happen in a gym. Many of us can get a phenomenal workout in the great outdoors. Life is full of stressors that chip away at us every day and that our bodies have to absorb: non-stop technology, the work-life imbalance, stressful social interactions and home situations. Even crowded gyms can be stressful and lead to burnout. Going into nature allows us to leave these stressors behind, and being exposed to trees, green grass, fresh air, and beautiful wildlife, provides a wonderful sense of calm, allows us to be fully present in our environment, and keeping us engaged with the world surrounding us and with our own bodies. Exercising outside is simply good for the body, mind, and soul!
Check for parks and trails around you, so you don’t have to worry about a long commute, grab your gear and go! Running or fitness trackers can chart your mileage, your progress, and your route for a simple way to organize your fitness routine. Most fitness apps also provide lots of hands-free simple workout routines you can do easily on a patch of grass without weights.
Working out outside is also free! What other opportunity allows you take in the beautiful outdoors, breathe in fresh air, stimulate and release your endorphins, and break a sweat, for FREE!! Gym classes can be appealing for the group dynamic that keeps you motivated. But nature is motivating and inspiring too, and can be enjoyed with a fitness buddy without breaking your bank!
Movement in the great outdoors can really diversify your routine. Nature can be enjoyed in boundless ways, and being active outside can bring endless joy and motivate and stimulate your enthusiasm for staying fit. Plus, it sure beats a monotonous treadmill!
Inevitably, there is an air of competition that comes with the gym, as you watch a more gifted and fitter gymgoer pushing heavier weights, running faster, and doing more uninterrupted pullups than you. In a gym, it is easy to compare your strength and agility to others and/or feel scrutinized. Being outside allows you to shed your own misgivings and insecurities, focus on releasing stress and pent-up energy, clearing your head, and focusing on your own performance.
Nature provides the perfect way to boost our self-confidence, release tension and stress, gain energy, and find inner peace. Being able to enjoy the outdoors, while also getting fit, is the perfect solution to becoming the healthiest version of ourselves. So dress for the weather and get outside to enjoy nature’s gym!