Working out outside has to be one of my favorite things; away from the artificial lights (and smells) of gyms and free to get creative with my training. It's awesome and I do it a few times a week at least.
There are so many options when it comes to outdoor training:
- Tire sled workouts (here's a video on how to make the sled)
- Park workouts
- Sandbag workouts
- Beach Workouts
- Family workouts
- TRX workouts
- Rock workouts
If you like those, we have a big library of outdoor workouts in the Fit Dad Nation Inner Circle.
The options are nearly limitless and there are so many benefits to getting your ass outside to train. Here are 15 reasons why you should be adding outdoor workouts to your program.
1) Natural sunlight
We're under and staring at artificial lights all day; cubicles, computer screens, phones, and TV's. Natural sunlight has plenty of benefits and one is some much needed vitamin D. I’m deficient and I’m outside all the time and know it's an issue for many men. Actually about 40% of Americans are deficient. Natural sunlight also improves sleep and helps to fight off depression.
Just a few benefits are improved concentration, increase productivity, the ability to work through problems more effectively and it allows you to reboot your brain and unwind. This is a good article from Psychology Today on the benefits.
3) It’s fun
Having fun and actually enjoying your exercise is critical for long-term success. That's why many programs disguise exercise for kids as games. And it's why millions of people quit the gym; because they fucking hate it. Getting outside and doing the type of workout you like counts for a lot. Maybe it's just running or maybe you like to use the monkey bars. Whatever interests you, try it.
4) It allows you to be creative
Along the lines of having fun is being able to get creative in your workouts. The old school programs of 3 x 10 aren't the standard anymore. Feel free to mix up your reps, weights, sets, and intervals. Build your own workouts. Use your creative juices.
5) Family time
So many men feel like they are taking time away from their family if they go to the gym. Why not hit a local park and take your kids? They get exercise. You get exercise. Plus, you're leading by example when you do.
6) Away from the gym environment
I've been in and out of gyms for 25+ years and many weren't places I'd choose to spend any time in if it didn't have weights. My point is that you don't need to be in a stuffy and often smelly gym to get fit. Get away from the meatheads and do your own thing outside.
7) It’s good for the soul
I’m not a spiritual guy but you can’t not feel good being outside on a beautiful, sunny day.
8) Time Efficient
The #1 reason I hear as to why you’re aren’t fit is a lack of time. The park is close by and you can probably walk to one on a few minutes. No waiting for machines, no commutes. Plus, you can get a great full body workout using park equipment. Many of the workouts in the Inner Circle are under 20 minutes for those looking for ideas on keeping training sessions short and intense.
9) Boosts mood and energy
In a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that participants who spent just five minutes sitting in nature experienced an increase in positive emotions. And I don't know about you, but I always feel better after being outside, enjoying some sun and exercise.
10) No equipment needed
You can of use bands, a TRX, sandbags, or anything else you can carry to the park but bodyweight training works extremely well for getting stronger, leaner, and fit.
11) Immune system boost
Yes, training outside can help to boost your immune system and I don't have to tell you that a nasty germ filled gym probably isn't the healthiest place on Earth.
12) Breaks up routine
Have you ever seen someone at the gym month after month, doing the same exercises? I've seen it countless times. Heading outside to train breaks up the monotony. Plus, looking forward to your workouts can keep you motivated.
13) It's Free
You don’t need gym membership or fancy equipment to get fit. I hear a lot of men say they cant afford a gym and that's fine. The park, a field, or a beach is free!
14) Muscle confusion
We’ve gone overboard with the whole muscle confusion thing and too much isn’t necessarily a good thing but some is great. And when you're using swings, slides, and bars to train, you'll be using muscles you didn't know you had.
15) Challenging terrain
Just try hill sprints if you don’t believe me. You'll burn more calories due to wind resistance and uneven terrain. It also will help improve ankle stability (among other areas) given the uneven surfaces.
Well, if you needed any convincing to take some of your workouts outside, I hope this podcast put you over the edge and you get after it. Enjoy!