How to tweak your environment?
Did you know that exercising outdoors is the best for motivation and reaching top 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, which is killing us and destroys our correct body posture. We work long hours in the office 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 outdoors and we are not managing even that!
In fact, exercising outdoors it is hugely beneficial for our body and mind. For example going outdoors and doing functional body weight training will help avoid muscle imbalances. These muscle imbalances are very common, when we using machines to exercise, because we are more likely to exercise too heavily on the one side of the body.
However, with the machines, that cannot be calibrated for each individual and when overused will inevitably have negative effects on most people. 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. The normal gym has tricked us into thinking that we work hard but in reality it is not true. The machines help us artificially to think that we workout harder but it is not the truth. 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 muscle effort 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, physical and financial benefits.
"Wholesome exercise in the fresh air under the wide open sky is the best medicine for our body and spirit"