1 of 7 people in UK is member of a gym, but did you know that around 66% are actually unused gym memberships? UK health and fitness industry keeps growing with a 1.9% increase in the number of fitness facilities and 5.3% in the number of members and 3.2% in market value over the last year. However, overweight statistics keep rising with 62.9% of adults in UK being either obese or overweight, according to the last research published by the House of Commons Library. More accurately, 27% of adults in England are obese and a further 36% are overweight.
Health problems are increasing all over the world and it is clear that more gym facilities or memberships are not the solution. In fact, recent research carried at Lowa State University has confirmed that at least 50% of individuals could be genetically influenced being less able to withstand the pain and exertion of exercise. So you could even be genetically conditioned to hate the gym? Weight training is definitely more draining than body weight training and makes you feel more exhausted, not necessarily meaning that your chances of getting fit are as high as the level of exertion involved when training at the gym.
Gyms are definitely not for everyone. At Fit Fast Trainers we love outdoor training and we have decided to share with you some of the reasons why:
Vitamin D and sunshine are essential for a strong immune system and healthy mind and body. Cloudy days may reduce the benefits of sunlight, but a cloud cover only halves of ultraviolet rays, which trigger vitamin D production. Also, endorphins (your body’s feel-good chemicals) are released by your body when you get some sun.
Burn more calories
Training on an open space gives you more chances to move more, burning more calories. Furthermore, when running outdoors, factors like the resistance from the wind, the slopes or uneven ground will make you work harder too. Treadmill’s body mechanic is slightly different from running outdoors. One reason is that the treadmill belt assists leg turnover, making it easier to run faster.
Find your own space
Unlike at the gym, when you train outdoors you don’t need to queue for the equipment, wipe a stranger’s sweat from the bench or feel observed and even judged! The type of crowd you will find training in the park (if any) is rather different, focused on their own thing. You can move freely and play with all different possibilities around (benches, fences, stairs, trees, grass, walls, etc.) to train and stretch at your own rhythm.
A research team from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and a 2012 Glasgow study found that as well as increased energy, outdoor training has been linked to a decrease of sleep problems, stress, tension, anger and depression, when compared with exercising indoors. The same research indicated that outdoor participants were more likely to repeat and that they enjoyed the training more.
More studies comparing running indoors and outdoors have proved that outdoor training, apart from a higher output, contributes to deeper respiration and sustained higher percentages of VO2max, the maximum volume of oxygen consumed.
Instead of having to wait for the treadmill or the pull up machine, training outdoors give you many more possibilities. You can take advantage of the limitless space to do your own circuits and High Intensity Interval Training or simply monkeying around.
Written by Pilar