How to tweak your environment?
"Wholesome exercise in the fresh air under the wide open sky is the best medicine for our body and spirit"
Did you know that exercising outdoors is the best for motivation and performance?
There are many studies done on how different environments influence and shape our health. According to studies, going green and going outdoors will motivate you to be more physically active and will even improve your performance. It is also proven that exercises performed outdoors have more psychological and health benefits than in the gym.
Our connection with nature has changed completely in the Western world. On average we spend more than 8 hours a day sitting indoors. We work long hours in offices and then return home to sit in front of the TV or we head to the gym to exercise. We rarely venture outdoors, often frequently choosing to drive to and from work rather than walk or cycle. IT is recommended that we spend at least 30 minutes a day in the outdoors and we are not managing even that!
When exercising it is hugely beneficial to do it outside. For example going outdoors and doing functional body weight training will help avoid muscle imbalances. These muscle imbalances are common when we only exercise in gyms because we are more likely to exercise too heavily on one side with machines that cannot be calibrated to each individual person and therefore will inevitably have negative effects on most people when overused. Doing exercise outside using your body as the weight means the weight has been perfectly calibrated to you, and therefore is far less likely, when correctly trained, to cause muscle imbalance.
Not only is there less likelihood of injury, the exercise even seems easier to perform in a natural setting than in the gym, it motivates us more. People have commented on how exercise is less demanding when performed in a natural environment. The gym has tricked us into thinking that we work hard but in reality it's not true. Try this experiment, run 5k on the treadmill and then try the same outdoors, you probably will notice the difference. Running outside will be harder and will use more muscles in you legs and therefore be more beneficial.
Finally, exercising outdoors motivates us to do it more, improves our self esteem and has other psychological benefits such as decreasing stress. In short, one of the best environment changes you could make is to exercise outdoors as much as you can because it has so many positive mental and physical benefits.
Every workout counts
On top of everything you will save lost of money on gym membership.