Just because summer is behind us for another year doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from getting outdoors. In fact in some ways exercising in the sun at this time of year is better for you as you aren’t subjecting your skin to such harsh UV rays.
Benefits of outdoor exercise
- Increase your intake of vitamin D, which helps your body to absorb important minerals such as iron and calcium.
- Reduces the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can be particularly acute in winter months.
- Gives your lungs a burst of fresh air.
- Makes you feel happy.
Get out every day
- Walk when possible. Do the school run on foot so the kids get outside and some exercise too, walk to work or the shops whenever possible. If it helps invest in some good waterproof apparel so you’re not put off by the rain.
- On lunch breaks take a stroll, if only for five minutes.
- If you take the bus get off a stop early, or walk to the next stop along your journey after work.
- Bootcamp-style classes will run all year whatever the weather, so find one near you.
- Run outside. With the right gear you can keep running all year round, even when it’s dark and pouring with rain. High-visibility gear, trail trainers and a head torch mean there’s no need to quit running for winter. Just make sure you’re visible and stick to well-lit areas after dark.
- Pause regularly in your run to do some squats, star jumps or lunges to add variety.
- Go for a long walk. There’s nothing like it on a sunny autumnal morning and if you have kids they will love collecting fallen leaves of varying colours.
- Cycle. Again, with the right apparel, and with a mind on safety there’s no need to stop just because summer is over.
- Swim. There are loads of wild swimming destinations in the UK that you could explore if you invest in a wetsuit.
- Go for a buggy run. Your little one will love the fresh air and may even sleep better for it. Cycle paths are particularly good places to do this as they’re wide, flat and traffic free.
The right kit
- Head torch
- Wicking layers that can be removed as you warm up
- High-visibility clothing
- Walking boots
- Waterproof trousers
- Good waterproof coat
So get outside. Even if you’re only out for five minutes you will feel better.