Ah, Spring at last. It doesn’t take much more than melted snow and temperatures above freezing to get many of us here at BlenderBottle off the treadmill and into the great outdoors. The way we see it, exercise anywhere is a good thing, but exercise everywhere is even better.
There are several benefits to mixing up your exercise routine, and taking things outdoors whenever possible. Cross-training is a great way to dodge boredom, fitness plateaus, and injuries. But did you know it's also better for your body, brain, and social life too? You don’t have to take our word for it – listen to Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist of the American Council on Exercise: “There are some very real psychological and physiological benefits to balancing your exercise routine between indoor and outdoor environments,” Bryant claims. In addition to the benefits listed below, switching between indoor and outdoor excersise actually increases the chances that you’ll stick with your workout regimen longer. So why should you pack up your BlenderBottle and hit the road today? Consider the following:
Your BodyOutdoor activities are going to work your body where you least expect it. Most outdoor activities are weight bearing – including hiking, trail running, and rollerblading (yeah, you know who you are). Weight-bearing exercises have the benefit of improving both bone density and your sense of balance. Plus, the rougher outdoor terrain forces your body to make constant, minute adjustments, meaning your core and skeletal muscles get a better workout as well.
Your BrainHave you ever heard of artificially produced negative air ions? It’s a mouthful to say, but studies show these ions actually improve both seasonal and nonseasonal depression. And you guessed it - they occur naturally outdoors. Getting up into the mountains, over to the ocean, or just out the door after a thunderstorm improves your chances of absorbing these mood-boosting ions and brightening your day!
Your Social Life
The great thing about outdoor workouts is that you’re usually headed somewhere (rather than running in place), giving you a good excuse to invite someone along for the trek. Invite a running buddy, or even your favorite four-legged friend. Odds are, you’ll run into a completely different crowd outdoors than you did at the gym. (You may even see a few BlenderBottles on the track, which we’ve found to be a great conversation starter…) So mix it up! Lift weights today, and get out on the trail tomorrow. Balancing indoor and outdoor activities offers great benefits for your physical and mental well-being. Your workout is whatever you make it, so blend up a regimen that’s right for you!
What’s your favorite outdoor workout?