The Amazing Benefits of Exercising in Nature
Katelyn Sander

The Amazing Benefits of Exercising in Nature

Living Well...together, while apart

We’re not going to pretend the pandemic is anything to be super happy about. But we do think it helps to embrace all the silver linings. Especially for us, those that can have a positive impact on our fitness and health.

Such as?

Exercise snacks. This spontaneous burst of exercise can be done anytime, anywhere. 20 seconds or a few minutes in duration isn’t much. So, the time and energy commitment is minimal, but done a few times throughout the day – the fitness and health gains can be meaningful. Learn more here.

Working out in bare feet. True strength begins from the bottom up. Going without shoes allows you to take advantage of more natural movement patterns. Pushups and planks will stretch, bend, and stimulate your toes and the soles of your feet. Your deadlifts will start a little closer to the ground challenging that hip hinge and core strength to an even greater degree! Lunges and split squats that challenge core stability will now challenge the stabilizing muscles through the feet and ankles as well. Natural power starts with a connection to the ground. Sometimes it’s useful, important to have a shoe on to optimize your anchor. And sometimes it’s better to take an opportunity to strengthen your natural power base.

Great classes and trainers live in your living room. 

And exercising in nature.

Since the pandemic began, more and more Canadians are exercising in the parks and trails in the great outdoors. And this “green exercise” trend it turns out, is a really fabulous one.

For starters, we evolved to be comfortable, even thrive outdoors. We’re born with an innate affiliation with nature. So, getting out there can help us connect with the natural rhythms of the sun, and the natural healthy rhythms of our own bodies.

Exercising in nature has been shown to restore your ability to focus. So, wandering through the woods subsequently reduces the tendency for the mind to wander, facilitating better concentration and productivity.

Natural undulations in views and terrain provide visual stimulation and challenge and train balance and agility. Turns out this additional stimulation also burns more calories.

Want to increase your intensity? Turns out people will naturally walk faster, work harder, but report lower perceived exertion relative to a slower treadmill-based walk! (More calories again!)

People tend to rate exercise in natural settings as “enjoyable” and are therefore far more likely to repeat the experience. Given exercise adherence is such a challenge in North America, this benefit is a really powerful one.

And – if I may – being super obsessed with adherence: We know that lack of results negatively impacts adherence. And we know higher intensity exercise tends to garner better results. So, if nature inspires higher intensity exercise…?! Win!

There is also preliminary evidence to show that exercising in nature may boost immune system function and help recovery from illness better than physical activity inside.

Need one more reason? While you connect with nature, you can safely connect – socially distanced of course – with a few fellow human beings.

Sources:

Thompson Coon, J.; Boddy, K.; Stein, K.; Whear, R.; Barton, J.; Depledge, M.H. Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2011, 45, 1761–1772.

Focht, B.C. Brief walks in outdoor and laboratory environments: Effects on affective responses, enjoyment, and intentions to walk for exercise. Res. Quart. Exerc. Sport 2009, 80, 611–620

Pretty, J.; Peacock, J.; Sellens, M.; Griffin, M. The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. Int. J. Environ. Health Res. 2005, 15, 319–337

Rogerson, M.; Brown, D.K.; Sandercock, G.; Wooller, J.-J.; Barton, J. A comparison of four typical green exercise environments and prediction of psychological health outcomes. Perspect. Public Health 2015.

Today’s Inspiration

“The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s nature.” - Shikoba 

Today’s Live Workouts

Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!

TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING WITH ROBERT S

Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724

YOGA FUSION WITH ROBERT Y

Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today’s Trainer Moves

Today, Meg’s celebrating some of the things she highlighted above, that we may not have started had it not been for lockdown: exercising in your bare feet and exercise snacking!


For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, please reach out to Meg here.

Today’s Bite

Radish Avocado Toast

We’re going to back to basics this spring, so let’s talk about avocado toast! The simple things in life are often some of the best, and creamy avocado spread onto well-toasted bread is one of our favourite quick meals! It’s so delicious, just add some spring radishes for crunch and chomp away.

To download this recipe, click here.

For more incredible recipes like this, check out our Spice of Life Recipe Book.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bread, toasted, 1/2 inch (1 1/4 cm) thick
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • Thinly slice all the fresh radishes. Set aside.
  • Cut the avocado in half, and use a knife to slice the inside, then scoop out the avocado into a bowl.
  • Mash the avocado with lime, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread the mixture on some toasted bread.
  • Top the avocado toast with the sliced radishes and any other garnishes you would like.
  • Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.
  • Enjoy!

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Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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