In a world where success is often determined by the amount of technology we have access to, it seems bizarre to suggest that we could somehow remove technology but still demonstrate success. After all, generally the first people to access the best technology are the first to succeed, right?
Is technology everything though? Maybe it’s possible to get equal or superior success without the use of technology at all. This argument is usually best summed up as, ‘the way God (or nature) intended’, subsequently followed by, ‘if it was good enough for the cavemen…’.
It’s quite easy to think of the benefits of using a gym and all the technology that comes with it, but it’s far more difficult to think of the benefits of training outdoors. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist – there are a whole host of reasons why outdoor workouts are beneficial for us!
Think about being on a treadmill in a gym for example. Usually you’re looking at the same spot for 10, 20, 30 minutes etc. The outdoors provides distractions so you aren’t constantly worrying about how fast you’re going and for how long. As I’m sure you are aware, finding distractions when you’re performing any task can often make time go faster.
What’s more, think about what you’re actually running on. That treadmill has one material – outside you can find yourself running on all kinds of terrain, from grass/dirt to pebbles/sand. Add this to the fact you’re also exposed to all types of weather too and you’ll probably find that you’ve done more work in that hour in the park than you would have in an hour on the treadmill.
One phrase you might be familiar with is, ‘the roads are always open’, I know I’ve seen it on inspirational posters on more than one occasion. Cheesy though it sounds, the point is accurate. 24 hour gyms aren’t always easy to find but no matter what time of day it is you can always go outside for a workout.
One thing that stops a lot of people persisting with the gym is its repetitive nature. When people go to the gym on a regular basis they tend to form a routine that doesn’t really change much from week to week. An outdoor workout can break that routine and add some desperately needed variety to your training.
What about Vitamin D? Because of the nature of our culture in the west lots of people lack vitamin D and don’t even realise it. Just as little as going for a twenty minute run each week is going to help boost your vitamin D levels, provided it is sunny of course. Not to mention your joints might thank you later for giving them the softer cushion of grass every once in a while.
Now what I’m not saying is that we all need to stop going to the gym and train outdoors all the time, that would be ridiculous. But how many of you can honestly say that any of your workouts in a week incorporate the outside world?
The benefits of science and technology have been huge to the health and fitness industry, and the continued use of this technology has helped many people achieve goals that otherwise they might not. This doesn’t mean that we have to abandon traditional methods too – so why not try adding an outdoor workout to your routine? You never know, you might just find you miss playing outside more than you thought!