If you want to get in shape, keep physically active, and enjoy the great outdoors, calisthenics is for you. These days, almost every gym has everything you need for a good calisthenics workout. But it doesn’t have fresh air, sunshine, wind, or even rain that you can feel on your skin. There are many less-known benefits of working out outdoors.
Some benefits of working out outside include improving mental health, reducing stress, increasing vitamin D, and saving money.
It’s a natural antidepressant
It is a well-known fact that sunshine increases the production of serotonin. This chemical affects our mood, productivity, sleep, and digestion. The exercises themselves produce endorphins, which improve mood. So those two combined and
your workout will give you a lot of positive emotions. Moreover, just being outside and feeling the wind, rain, or both in your face will calm you down. It will reduce stress and improve cognitive function. You will feel like a part of something greater, which you are. Sometimes, monthly bills and “sprints” at work can add up. Researchers suggest that the color green can positively
impact one’s overall mood. If you don’t feel like working out, go for a walk. Or if you can’t do that, look outside the window, open it, and take a deep breath of fresh air. Studies have
shown that working out outside can improve your self-esteem. As little as 5 minutes can positively impact mood and overall feeling. A green park, river, or garden will do. Whatever is closest to you.
It’s not hard to work outside when the sun is shining. When trees are green and lush, and there is a warm, lazy breeze. But don’t get discouraged when skies turn grey, trees color gold, and the autumn rain is knocking at your window sill.
Benefits of cold weather workouts
There are some benefits you will not get working out in the summer. For example, you can train harder and for longer in colder temperatures. In an interview for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Tenforde says: “In colder temperatures, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, you sweat less, and expend less energy, all of which means you can exercise more efficiently.”
Another benefit of cold-weather workouts is that you burn more calories compared to working out in summer or indoors. When exposed to colder temperatures, your body will try to keep your core temperature up. This process requires more calories and more energy from the body.
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that working in cooler temperatures can transform your white fat into brown fat. White fat’s purpose is to store calories. This white fat’s usual storage placement is around the belly area and thighs.
The brown fat’s purpose is to burn calories to keep body temperature up in colder conditions. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
In the previous paragraph, we talked about the mental health benefits of cold-weather workouts. And one of the biggest ones is resilience. It is the ability to push through hardship despite a lack of motivation or any other reason.
Of course, nobody wants to put on some running shoes and several layers of clothing and go outside in the dark, rain, and cold. Well,
maybe if your name starts with D and ends with avid Gogins, you do. But everybody else would prefer warm cocoa under a pink, fluffy blanket.
But the thing is, if you make yourself do it, despite how you feel, you will train not only your body but your mind, too. You will become more resilient to hardship. And when you go to work the next day, you will not be fazed by any task thrown your way.
What to take into consideration
- Don’t forget to hydrate. Drink plenty of water if you are working in hot weather. Your body will lose a lot of water during those hot summer workouts. But don’t forget to hydrate in cold weather workouts. Drink water slowly. Warm it up in your mouth to avoid sour throat the next day. Be responsible.
- Dress for the job. If you are working out on a hot summer day, dress lightly. Don’t forget about sunscreen. In hot and sunny weather, you should wear a hat. Protect your head. You do not want to get sunstroke. In cold weather workouts, think of layers. Start with some synthetic material, like polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. In the middle, you can wear something light and warm. On top, you should wear a jacket that is wind and waterproof. That applies to working out in rainy autumn and winter as well.
- Protect your hands, head, neck, and feet. Wear gloves, preferably from synthetic material, lightweight, and ideally with a reflector. Wear a hat to protect your head and ears. And don’t forget about a scarf to protect your neck and, if it is freezing, your nose too. If you work out in winter, you will need a lip balsam. The lip balsam will protect your lips and stop them from becoming dry and chapped. Trust me, your lips will say thank you.
- Warm up properly. Because of the colder temperatures, your body can warm up slower than in summer. Take your time. Don’t rush. Start with some dynamic warm-up. Move into a brisk walk and finish with a light jog.
Autumn is in full swing, and days are getting shorter. Darkness sets in much earlier. It means that most likely, it will be dark when you start your workout. There are a few things to consider before you do.
- Wear reflective clothing. People in cars and bicycles must be able to see you. If you are crossing the road or walking on the sidewalk, it is safer to be visible. It is important!
- Don’t go into complete darkness where you can’t see where you are going. It is easy to slip or trip when you can’t see where to put your next step. There is no need for avoidable injuries.
- Tell somebody where you are going and when you are planning to return. Take your mobile phone with you and charge it to 100% before you go. And that leads me to my last point.
It is much easier to go outside and do a workout when somebody is already waiting for you. Moreover, it is safer too. Invite your friend for a brisk autumn workout. Get in shape together. After all, the best time to build your summer body is in the winter.
Simple exercise parks are available in almost every city. Start there, meet new people, and create your workout group. Or, find someone online that would be interested in working out together.
If you are interested in finding a place to train outside, Caliverse is here to help. We have accumulated a large amount of calisthenics parks around the world. You can see them in our app or on our Instagram page. Some of the calisthenics parks are spectacular in their equipment and the view.
So, get your training shoes, gloves, and a windproof jacket. Let’s enjoy the great outdoors together.