Why You Should Workout in Your Garden
‘Exercise’ is a wide umbrella term that covers many different varieties and forms of movements. One of which is ‘green exercise’ which refers to physical exercise undertaken outside. Here we share why you should jump on board with the green exercise movement and workout in your garden - as well as some handy tips to get you started.
What are the benefits of exercising in your garden?
We all know about the health benefits of exercising: lowered risk of cardiac disease, lower stress levels, increased motivation, better memory, healthier bones, joints, and muscles - the list goes on and on! According to the NHS, exercise can reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes, cancer and heart disease by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%!
Exercise also increases endorphins and even produces changes in the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. As a result, exercise has been shown to improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Additional studies have also found that exercise helps to build bone density which helps to prevent osteoporosis in later life.
It’s not just the health benefits that makes exercising outdoors appealing. There are several other benefits too:
Saves time and money
One of the best things about exercising in your garden? You don’t need to commit to a 12-month gym membership only to find that this type of exercise isn’t for you. You don’t even need to use equipment if you don’t want to, there are plenty of home fitness exercises that you can do that only require a can-do attitude!
If you need a little structure the internet is a great exercise resource, from free online fitness videos on YouTube to fitness apps you can download on your mobile for a couple of pounds.
Some apps have advanced features that allow you to plan your workouts, choose the intensity of the exercise and even track how many calories you have burned. This is a great way to keep track of your fitness journey and can even provide a method of motivation - particularly if your app also sends you a reminder of your next workout!
Good for the soul
Exercising outdoors is good for our mental health too. Exercising in your garden can increase your vitamin D levels, particularly if it’s sunny. As a result, this can serve as a mood booster as vitamin D contributes to preventing SAD (or Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is a mood disorder that occurs seasonally during winter when we’re not exposed to as much sunlight.
Your garden can get a workout
Did you know that gardening counts as exercise? It’s considered to be moderate exercise by the American Heart Association and the NHS. Mowing the grass, digging and raking are particularly effective at helping to get your heart rate up and for burning calories. One study carried out by the University of Arkansas revealed that it can even help enhance bone density.
If, like most of us, you have a hectic, busy schedule then fitting in a workout can be near impossible! Exercising in your garden gives you the ultimate flexibility as you’re not restricted to opening and closing times and it doesn’t matter if the gym’s class timetable doesn’t work for you. Exercising in your garden gives you the freedom to choose what time is right regardless of whether you prefer a morning or evening exercise routine.
Variety of workout options await you
It’s not just time at your disposal, working out from your garden gives you a variety of workout options. If you’re not sure what exercise is for you then this is a great opportunity to explore different avenues to find what works best for you without the pressure of added expenses.
How to make it work
Staying motivated is one of the biggest challenges facing people who exercise or want to exercise. You need to be your own cheerleader and motivate yourself. Scheduling your workouts in advance can help you make the most of any available time.
Try not to do all your exercising in one long session - often this can leave you feeling exhausted and deplete your motivation. What’s more, studies have shown that even 10 minutes of exercise (with 1 minute of intense activity) yields a lot of the benefits of longer exercise sessions. Rather than exercising for a long time on an infrequent basis, exercising little and often can be more beneficial to build up the habit.
Be weather aware
Working out in the garden can work wonders in the summer months but our temperamental UK weather may make exercising outside less appealing during winter! Even as the temperature drops you can still exercise outside although you’ll likely need to wrap up with additional layers.
If the weather gets too wild to enjoy the benefits of exercising in the garden, exercising in the home can work wonders until the weather improves. Alternatively, if space in the home is an issue, using an exterior space like a garden room can provide you with shelter from the weather as well as separation from any distractions in the house. The great thing about garden rooms is that they can make a superb multi-purpose space so your home gym could also double up as anything from a teenage hang out room to a writing studio or home office!
At Outside In Garden Rooms, we specialise in designing and building bespoke, highly insulated garden rooms which are usable throughout the year. Our garden rooms can be delivered and installed throughout central Scotland. Find out more about our garden rooms or get in touch for a no-obligation quote.
Thanks to Denise Gibson, Personal Trainer for her excellent demonstration skills!