With gyms and indoor sporting areas closed due to social distancing laws, now is the perfect time to look at outdoor alternatives to help your fitness game and mindset.
At times like this, with so much change occurring, the path of least resistance is often an easier one to take. That path usually looks like a beeline to the fridge, the living room or the bedroom, but it’s important to add some healthy nature time to your new daily routine.
Besides the recommended advice from health professionals in order to maintain weight, reduce your risk of health issues and improving your sleep, there are many other benefits to exercising outside.
Here are some great examples why exercising outdoors should be a daily habit, plus some tips to making it fun along the way:
It’s a great mood elevator
A Stanford University study found that spending time outdoors exercising in nature could lower the risk of depression. Researchers discovered that people who exercised outdoors for around 90 minutes showed decreased activity in the part of the brain that is associated with depression.
Additionally, breathing fresh air can increase levels of oxygen into the brain, which in turn stimulates chemicals in your brain to alter your mood, making you feel happier, more relaxed & less anxious.
Give your brain some downtime
At some stage we all feel “brain drain” from what’s going on in the news, adapting to working from home and other factors. Getting outdoors can help calm your mind, unwind & create some balance.
Why not create a playlist of your favourite songs, or find a podcast to keep you motivated? Husky International is a fantastic podcast featuring inspirational stories of the great outdoors. You can check out the podcast here.
Mix It Up
Running laps around the local park might not be so exciting after a few days, so why not mix it up and find alternatives? Taking the bicycle for a spin along local bike paths, hiking or bushwalking in your nearest National Park to even kayaking or canoeing are some great options to experience the great outdoors.
Why not pack a snack & some other necessities (water, sunscreen, tissues, hat, hand sanitiser etc) and have a mini picnic? My trusty Ulvö Hip Pack provides an easy and compact solution for carrying the essentials on my trek.
Explore your neighbourhood…. And beyond
People can be quite habitual with their routines, getting from A to B either by car or public transport. Do you ever find yourself thinking “I wouldn’t mind out checking out that local café or exploring this part of my suburb, but it’s not on en route.”
It’s the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with your neighbourhood & support local business by grabbing a takeaway coffee or meal (and treat yourself too).
Spread some joy on social media
Social media feeds are currently inundated with news, which can be overwhelming (and quite frankly a bit of a downer), so why not share some beautiful pics of your outdoor journeys? All you need is your smart phone, nice scenery and some fun filters.
It’s a great way of breaking the monotony on social media and provide some respite for those who might not be able to go outside. It’s also a great way to motivate others to get outdoors as well!
Written by friend of Fjällräven Australia, Nicole Robertson