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The Benefits of Outdoor Training

Updated: Jun 21, 2018


Christchurch is surrounded by nature and beautiful parks. In spring the weather is great and it is time to spend some time in many parks that we have around the city for physical activities such as running, sports, walk the dogs or play with our children.

The benefits of getting regular exercise are well known, but fewer people realize that working out outdoors could be even better for your health. Some studies suggest that as part of our genetic make-up we are predisposed to develop natural contact, that’s why outdoor training should be used to improve health [1].

Also, training outdoor affects physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure and hormones including Cortisol (an objective measure of stress). When you train outside, it is relaxing and has also stress-reducing properties as observed by improvements in these parameters and this would be even more helpful when you engage people in physical activities so when people perceive to be fun, it has the potential to be more enjoyable [2].

Moreover, another study suggests that exercise may feel easier when performed in a natural environment as people tend to speed-up more, compared to the indoors activities, it seems to be perceived less demanding when performed outdoor. Due to these facts, it would be perfect for improve your performance in all fitness levels [2].

Another great benefit is the exposure to sunlight as it may help you to obtain sufficient vitamin D increasing the health benefits [3] [4].

So this is an invitation to enjoy our city and at the same time, maintaining our health and happiness with a great natural resource: our beautiful nature.

[1] Richard A Fuller, Katherine N Irvine, 2007, Psychological benefits of greenspace increase with biodiversity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2390667/

[2] Valerie F Gladwell & Daniel K Brown, 2013, The great outdoors: how a green exercise environment can benefit all https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710158/

[3] Ministry of Health NZ, Vitamin D http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/food-and-physical-activity/healthy-eating/vitamin-d

[4] Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh, 2012, Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/

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