If you don't already enjoy a regular outdoor workout you are missing something great. Whether your outdoor workout is a run through the woods or a game of rugby, you will reap the benefits of being outside. These include:
- Exposure to natural light - natural light is far healthier than fluorescent lighting, and can reduce the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), an illness caused by lack of sunlight
- Exposure to the sun - regular exposure to the sun helps produce Vitamin D, a vitamin essential for a healthy immune system
- Training on uneven ground - improves core stability and peripheral muscles, thus improving overall fitness
- Breathing fresh air - this is good for your lungs and overall health, beneficial both physically and psychologically for those who are stuck inside all day
In addition, when you start to think about exercising outside, you open up a whole range of interesting workouts. By changing what you do according to the seasons, you can bring variety to your exercise program, using a strategy called periodization.
Periodization is a concept that recognizes that doing the same exercise all year is not only boring, it also has diminishing returns. As your body adapts to the routine, it is challenged less and less, and progress grinds to a halt.
Incorporating outside exercise into your program, whether it is playing tennis in the summer or cross country running in the winter, adds variety and interest to your training, which will make it both more fun and more effective.