Chronic stress levels are rising in humans and there is increasing evidence that, in part, this is due to our ongoing departure from nature. With the development of modern, concrete landscapes we’ve lost much of our connection, and in turn our appreciation for ‘the great outdoors.’ We understand that trees and plants give us oxygen, but there are more subtle benefits that nature affords us, for both our physical and mental health.
Green Exercise: The benefits of exercising outside
The health benefits we get from exposure to nature, we also get from exercise; reduced stress levels, release of endorphins, improved sleep, increased attention span, the list is long! This has led to a new area of research known as ‘Green Exercise,’ where scientists study the combination of exercise and nature, to determine whether there are cumulative benefits to our health.
Nature reduces stress
Green Exercise research has found that natural landscapes provide a positive distraction from everyday stressors and allow us to manage this stress more effectively. We experience reductions in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones, following exposure to natural environments.
Researchers have shown that we recover more effectively from mental fatigue in natural environments, compared to being indoors. So after a long day of focussing on work, a walk in the park or sitting in the garden will help your brain recover faster than the equivalent activity indoors.
Indoor exercise vs outdoor exercise
So is an outdoor burpee better for us than an indoor one? Turns out exercising in natural environments can lower our perceived effort level, compared with equivalent exercise indoors, and Green Exercise can also reduce boredom and can have a stronger positive impact on our mood and self esteem. So if motivating ourselves to exercise outside can feel easier, whilst offering the same or greater benefits, then there’s a strong argument for outdoor burpees.
Why we run an outdoor bootcamp
In the busy modern world, finding time to exercise can be a challenge, as can finding time to go for a walk in the woods. So at Colchester Fitness Centre we’ve created space on our timetable devoted solely to Green Exercise, to give our members the opportunity to combine the two things we need to support our physical and mental health – exercise and exposure to nature.
Our bootcamp classes are designed to be just that. They will always be held outdoors, all year round, all our members can book on to them, which means everyone has the opportunity to experience a different training stimulus in a natural environment.