For 10 years I was a regular gym client. Every week, 2-3 times a week you were able to find me from the local gym lifting weights and sweating indoors.
Then I became mom, found yoga and thought that I’m not going to go to the gym ever again!
Now I’ve started to build my own gym to our garden. Why so? Someone might ask.
You need to go six months back to find the answer. That is when I had my Working Mom’s 6 Week Health Challenge. Kersten Kimura, NASM certified personal trainer and the owner of the company Urban Jane planned a 6 week training programme for me. Kersten trains her clients mostly outside and not at the gym. That’s why I also found myself jumping in the snowfall and doing planks in our terrace while listening to the rain.
Green exercise is not only good for your body
I used to love exercising at the gym because I felt so strong and good afterwards. My 6 Week Health Challenge brought back those good memories. However, I felt that exercising outdoors instead of indoors made me feel somehow even better. Spontaneously I found 3 reasons:
- Breathing fresh air during the exercise felt better than breathing “not so fresh air” at the gym.
- Listening to nature sounds felt better than listening to often “not so peaceful and good” music at the gym.
- Looking at trees and the sky just felt better than looking at the mirror and the walls at the gym.
Later on, I found the article published in Environmental Science and Technology. The article introduced a study that had shown that exercising outdoors in the presence of nature is not only good for your body but also your mind.
“Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater effects”, it was said in the study.
“No wonder I felt mentally so good always after my outdoor training!” I laughed.
After realizing “the extra nature effect” I decided that I would continue my new habit by making an own “gym” outside next to our children’s playground.
Because of my positive experiences, I would like to encourage you to make a test too: Do the same training both indoors and outdoors and compare your experiences.
Do not just go for a walk or run but do some exercises outdoors that you would normally do at the gym or on the floor of your living room.
My tip for you is to do this gentle “Core Workout” training. I think this series of gentle bodyweight exercises is a great summer morning wake-up. I love it!
“Core Workout” includes:
- 3 rounds of 20 x plank toe touches
- 3 rounds of 20 x dead bugs
- 3 rounds of 20 x bird dogs
- 3 rounds of 20 x plank knee touches
- 3 rounds of 20 x split leg V ups
In the video Kersten shows you how to do all of them right:
If you find it hard to start or you are worried that someone might see you or that you look weird when you exercise outdoors, I want you to know that you are not alone with your feelings. First, I felt it also weird to do sit-ups in our terrace even though we are living in the middle of the countryside!
Don’t let that uncomfortable feeling stop you. I’ve also experienced that after getting over that feeling couple of times you learn to relax. You start to enjoy exercising outdoors in a new way. And finally, you don’t give a damn even though someone might see you.
Kersten has also written a great article on the topic “Workout outdoors – And Stop Feeling Weird”.
“By getting rid of the feelings of awkwardness or weirdness, by giving your body a chance to move more naturally in more natural conditions, you will learn to enjoy moving so much more. Your will feel great because you experience the freedom that comes with being closer to nature.”
I totally agree with her. The feeling of freedom is the cherry on this cake!
15 years ago on a beautiful summer day, I remember running alone on the treadmill and watching TV while doing it.I enjoyed it then but now I could not imagine doing it anymore.
It’s because I have found something better. Green exercise.
It just feels so much better in my body and mind to sweat outdoors than indoors.