Although the winter chill is definitely in the air, it doesn’t seem to be putting the stoppers on our love of the great outdoors. A breath of fresh air isn’t just great for our health, it can also give our self-esteem a boost!
Scientists have found people who spend more time outside, feel better about their body image and have higher self-esteem.
There are many reasons why getting our sweat on in the great outdoors makes us feel good. Beautiful views, the sun beating down on our faces and getting away from the hustle and bustle of a packed gym floor, to name a few.
This new research has also found a link between spending regular time outdoors and our perception of how we look.
As part of an online survey, individuals were asked to rate a number of statements about their body image. These statements included...
- ‘I respect my body’
- ‘When I see good-looking people, I wonder how my own looks measure up’
- ‘I often check my appearance in a mirror just to make sure I look okay’
- ‘I feel pressure from family members to look thinner’
They were also asked a variety of questions about how exposed they were to nature on a daily basis. Researchers found strong links between exposure to the outdoors and how much people liked their bodies. Sure, this could be due to the fact that confident types tend to head outdoors more than introverts, though the benefits of fresh air already stack up.
Outdoor exercise has already been proven to…
- Improve stress
- Increase Vitamin D
- Provide more energy
- Motivate those working towards a goal
- … and fight against a number of health issues
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), linked to a lack of natural sunlight can cause poor concentration, lethargy and low moods. A lack of Vitamin D doesn’t do any favours for your muscle and bone health. Plus, being surrounded by nature allows us to free ourselves from the stress and strains of our busy working schedules (and the magnolia walls of our home offices!)
The Scandinavians have long taken heed of this research with their philosophy of 'open-air living' or ‘Friluftsliv’. Rooted in Norwegian culture, Friluftsliv says the key to our wellbeing is found in a connection to nature. For the Scandinavians, it’s a part of every day life, as they get to grips with nature and spend time outdoors all year round.
Outdoor gyms are becoming increasingly popular as many people are choosing to get their workouts done in the fresh air.
See more on our Instagram page!
We're introducing outdoor classes at most of our clubs, so you can reap these benefits whilst getting your sweat on in a socially distanced environment.