May 1, 2018
WHILE THE CHANGE in weather can bring a change in mindset and perhaps even a shift towards a healthier lifestyle, bringing your exercise regime outdoors also has huge physical and mental benefits.
During the cold winter months we spend enough time indoors so now is the time to change it up a little by getting outside while the weather improves and the days become longer and brighter.
I have talked about the importance of getting your daily dose of Vitamin D in the past.
Over the last few weeks, we have been some glimpses of sun but sadly we just don’t get enough of it here throughout the year.
It is important to get out and get our dose of Vitamin D whenever we can as it is good for overall health and strong and healthy bones, along with it being an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection.
Not only is getting outside in the sunshine good for boosting Vitamin D levels but overall it’s great for clearing the head.
Over the past few weeks it’s nice to see the brighter mornings creep in and the sun starting to peak its head through around the 6am mark.
Having an early morning routine to me is key and I feel starting your day with exercise is extremely beneficial, as it can set you up for the day ahead.
While we don’t always have time in the morning, I always say that if something is important to you than you will always make time for it.
The toughest part is of course getting out of bed early but once you’re out and moving it’s really not that bad at all.
Some benefits of an early morning session
Since starting this column I have talked you through different types of outdoor exercise activity ideas.
One of the more popular options at this time of the year is to get some exercise done in the local park, as you don’t need fancy equipment for workouts to be effective.
Nowadays many parks have basic tools like pull-up and dip bars, making it even easier to put a workout together.
Having something basic like a suspension trainer, jump rope or kettlebell is always handy for an outdoor session.
The options are now endless from park trails, walking tracks and a brisk 5km run or walk are always great ways to get out and active at this time of year.
Source: David Last/YouTube
Health and fitness outdoor events are extremely popular nowadays — yoga clubs, running clubs and bootcamps, to name just a few.
Group-based outdoor training can be fun, varied and a nice change from the clammy gym floor.
The biggest positive from training in a group is the accountability factor and generally getting together with people who have similar interests. Here are a couple of examples:
Parkrun is a great way to start your weekend.
It is a series of timed 5km runs held on Saturday mornings with more than 50 locations now hosting the event nationwide.
My favourite is my local Marlay Park run and it’s always great to see so many people attend every Saturday morning. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.
Wellfest — Ireland’s largest health, fitness and wellness outdoor festival is back again this year and promises to deliver everything you need towards living a healthier lifestyle.
Airtricity race series — With the longer and brighter evenings, now is the time to get out for a run. If you are eyeing up the Dublin Marathon in October, or something else in between, you should be taking advantage of the weather.
The Airtricity race series is a nice way of building up the miles for the big day ahead later this year.
Bringing something new, different or challenging into your outdoor exercise routine is key.
Doing the same thing over and over again will eventually get boring and can only lead to burnout, fatigue or loss of interest.
People would join their local gym in January and come the summer they have drifted away as doing the same thing over and over eventually becomes a chore, so don’t make the same mistake in your summer plans.
Try something new such as sea swimming, hiking or even tag rugby — the options are boundless and are all good ways of taking advantage of the good weather and getting some exercise in at the same time.