Fitness in Nature

Have you ever noticed a sense of being happier and more calm after an outdoors training session?  Well research suggests that training outdoors amongst nature has great psychological benefits as it lifts your mood and lowers stress.

Lately I have been making a conscious effort to ensure a regular part of my training is done outdoors and organised a monthly hike with a friend.  We chose a different location every month to keep things interesting!

Below are the top 5 benefits THE FIT FOODIE (ww.the-fit-foodie.com) has identified from training outdoors.

TOP 5 BENEFITS TO OUTDOOR EXERCISE:

  1. Sunshine

Vitamin D provided by exposure to the sun has some great benefits. It strengthens your immune system, makes bones stronger and also actually improved your mood. Exposure to sunlight is a common treatment for depression and other mood disorders. Endorphins, which can raise your mood and keep it stable, are released when you spend time in the sun.

  1. Mental Stimulation

Outdoor exercise provides mental stimulation that indoor workouts simply cannot match. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out at home or at your local gym, you’ll always be surrounded by the same four walls. Training outside means you have constantly changing scenery that excites and stimulates your brain. Give your mind a workout as well as your body!

  1. Psychological Benefits

An increasing amount of research shows us that outdoor activity is psychologically beneficial as well as physiologically. Exercising amongst nature amongst trees and wildlife can give you a healthy mood boost and combat anxiety, lowering tension and alleviating stress that many of us suffer from.

  1. New Exercises

Despite some claims that exercise simulations are just as good as the real thing, you’ll find outdoor training uses muscles you never thought you had. Running outdoors is physically more demanding than a treadmill, even on an incline.

  1. More varied workout

Outside you’ll encounter varied terrain and conditions that cannot be simulated in the gym. You hit hills and different surfaces, such as concrete, grass, sand and – of course – earth and mud! All these surfaces and gradients exercise your body in different ways. You’ll need to flex your limbs differently in order to adapt to the contour of the terrain.  http://the-fit-foodie.com/5-benefits-of-training-outdoors/

So if you are looking to spice up your training routine think about heading outdoors!

Small Steps. Big Impact.

The days are shorter and the morning and evenings are unbearably cold.  Staying on track this time of year is difficult.  I’ve had many discussions with TEAM SWEAT members over the last few weeks about how hard it is to stay in routine and keep motivated.  I have to say I understand.  This time of year is brutal and I have also fallen into bad habits with nutrition and fitness. Shout out to Cadbury’s your Oreo chocolate bars are amazing. . . hang on where was I . . . yes healthy habits.

Everyone is different and you need to find what works for you.  Set goals, tell people about them, surround yourself with positive supportive friends and family then smash them out the park.  

Last week I set 3 goals – one nutrition, one fitness and one family.  I told my hubby who got on board and then we told some friends who also got on board.  To make it interesting we turned it into a challenge with the loser buying dinner . . . healthy of course.  But let’s be honest there are no losers we are all improving ourselves.

Four people working towards bettering themselves with nutrition and fitness. Supporting each other and creating healthy habits in a fun and friendly environment.  That’s what SWEAT and INSPIRE is all about. 

These small steps of deciding to make a change, setting goals and creating a supportive community will have a big impact on your health today, tomorrow and in the future. 

Challenges are not everyone’s cup of tea, so find what works for you whether it’s getting a personal trainer, committing to walking in your lunch break or cutting out sugar. 

The smallest step can have the biggest impact. So why not make July the month you set your goals to eat right, get moving and have fun.  x

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Winter Motivation

Find it hard to stay motivated in the colder months. We all do but remember summer bodies are earned in winter.

Here are some tips on staying motivated when all you want to do is hibernate!

SET GOALS

Goal setting is so important.  This can be a great motivator.  Achieving a goal will make all that hard work worth it and encourage you to stay on track.  Make sure your goals are meaningful to you and are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound! If your goal is all of these things the chance of you sticking to it and reaching it is very high.

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REWARD YOURSELF

When you achieve a goal celebrate and reward yourself.  Not with cake or a night out but with new activewear (who doesn’t want new activewear!), or your favourite tea.  Take a moment to bask in what you have achieved and then start aiming for the next goal! You’ve got this!

ACTIVE WEAR

TRAIN WITH A FRIEND

Organising to train with family or friends will keep you accountable.  If someone is waiting for you, you are more likely to turn up and work out.  So call someone now and organise a morning or evening run.  Lock in the time and location and then stick to it!

Friends

Now all that’s left is to get EXCITED.  So find what you love to do and do it.  Set your goals, reward yourself and if needed find a friend to help keep you accountable.

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