Why the Great Outdoors Can Be Your Fitness Pal in 2018

Here on Illuminated Health we discussed in a previous post on self care just how imperative it is to put a premium on taking good care of yourself. One of the most effective techniques we highlighted was going outside and taking a breath of fresh air to gain perspective on life. We also noted that exercise was key to providing balance. One way to get all the benefits of exercise while being outdoors is to combine the activities. As you set out to uncover a better version of yourself in 2018, heed these tips on how you can stay on the path of self-improvement just by getting out more and exercising.

Cycling

Getting on a bicycle to get you from point A to B can do wonders for you. Aside from lessening your carbon footprint, it will also further your well-being. The NHS notes that all you need is at least 150 minutes of weekly cycling to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. Cycling is also a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on the joints, making it the perfect activity for almost everyone. Getting on a bike is the perfect way to spend quality time outside, admiring the passing scenery while also getting a good cardiovascular exercise.

Running

While practical and convenient, running on a treadmill can be very boring. If you want to get a sustainable workout program, monotony is something that needs to remove from your training program. According to Fitness First PT Ambassador Simon Cowen exercising outdoors is better for motivation: “The beauty of exercising outdoors is the space you’re in. Running through different scenery means you have a lot to look at, so you’re less likely to get bored and end up exercising for longer, almost by accident.” So consider ditching the treadmill from time to time especially when the weather is nice and the sun is out.

Travel

There’s no better way to discover the world than by getting out there and seeing it. Going backpacking not only broadens your perspective on life, it can also help you shed some unwanted pounds. The Telegraph ranks backpacking at number 16 out of 39 calorie burning exercises, as it can burn anywhere between 511 to 637 calories. Still undecided where you want to go next this 2018? Lottoland shares seven amazing locations which are ideal for adventure seekers, and provides tips on how to make the most out of your visit. Case in point: The Northern Lights. Make your way to the far northern tip of Donegal (Malin Head, Dunaff, or Dunree), and you can enjoy the local hospitality even when the lights are a no-show, all while burning calories in the process.

Yoga

There is a big difference between doing yoga in a studio and outdoors. Integrative-coach, therapist and yoga instructor Eve Menezes Cunningham explains “Practising yoga outside helps us to be more mindful. It encourages us to use our senses more as we enjoy the sensation of grass or sand underfoot, feel the breeze or sun on our skin and generally make the most of our summers.” Cunningham further adds that performing sun salutation while under actual sunshine is an energising experience.

So there you have it, four exercises that can be done outdoors. For those struggling with their 2018 fitness and lifestyle goals we hope this has provided some inspiration, in what will be a long but fulfilling fitness journey ahead.