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Take it outside

Drag yourself out from under the duvet and brace the cold! 7 benefits to outdoor exercise

Jeans too tight? Christmas has well and truly caught up on me and I feel like an overstuffed sausage. So it’s time to get my house in order. If you’re reacquainting yourself with your trainers and Lycra, then read on.

Operation Hot for 2018 is on. Getting started is half the battle, it’s cold, it’s dark – but, believe it not, there are mahoosive benefits to fitness in the fresh air and you don’t have to do it on your own.

1. You burn more calories

Burn, baby, burn, it’ a fitness inferno. You actually lose a few more calories just by being chilly. No, you can’t just stand outside shivering and count that as a workout, but you can feel slightly smug that your body has to work harder in the cold, meaning it’s giving itself a mini workout before you even tie up your laces. Plus the weather, slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it’s responding to the unknown.

2. …you’re less likely to look a hot mess

Don’t you just hate people who glow during a workout? If you resemble a lobster within 5 minutes of moving – taking it outside can actually help. The cooler atmosphere helps your body find a stable body temperature. Wearing layers will also help, as you can peel something off if you get a sweat on. Whereas in the summer months you can get down to your undies and still look a hot mess.

3. Get high on happiness

Smiley face raised into the blue sky

There is a ton of research to prop up the mood enhancing benefits of getting active outside. Winter can be tough, but get your bottom moving, fresh air, nice scenery and increased oxygen helps release the feel-good exercise endorphins to help you feel less stressed or down and works wonders on your self-esteem.

4. It’s good for motivation
Heading to the gym or a windowless sports hall can seem like a waste of a beautiful day. OK, so no one likes to be out in the rain, but bear with me. There’s something dull about watching Celebrity Big Brother or Good Morning Britain from the cross trainer. Chances are you’ll get bored with the same view and you’re more likely to stop exercising altogether. The great thing about being outside (apart from all the ones listed above) is the space you;re in. Change of scenery and changing seasons mean you have lot to set your peepers on = boredom binned and the feel-good fitness regime continues.

 5. You’re less likely to get sick

Hot water and fresh lemon in a black cup to help when you are sick

As someone who os currently knee deep in Lemsip and tissues, the fact that even a moderate level of exercise can boost your immune system and build up defences against winter coughs and colds, is worth lacing up my trainers.

 

6. Enjoy an energy boost

Energetic leap in red trainers

Dragging yourself out from under your duvet in the dark is the pits, but you’ll have more energy in the long run. Research show that when people who have never really exercised start to move it, move it, they experience a dramatic drop in fatigue. Now, I’d like to say this will stop you sticking you mitt in the biscuit tin at 4pm, but you’re not a blinding saint. Plus I reckon by then you would have earned it.

 

7. Stick together

Group exercise class, form the shape of a heart at FastTrack Fit Camp bootcamp exercise classes in Berkshire

We all have our Greta Garbot ‘I want to be alone’ moments. But joining a exercise group really motivates you. Even if you don’t have a get-fit friend don’t let that stop you from Operation Hot . You’ll meet new mates who will give you a boost and push you harder. Stick with it and you set yourself up for a fitter, healthier life. You feel better. You’re more lively. You have the energy to do the things you enjoy.

FastTrack Fit Camp, run 45-minute group outdoor workout sessions in 8 locations across Berkshire. It’s cheaper than a personal trainer, more enjoyable and you have expert nutrition advice on hand if you want it. 

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