Add Some Science to your Summer Workouts
Aug 4, 2021
At Fitness Together® studios we don’t simply follow fads and whims when it comes to making workout and wellness recommendations. Instead, we lean on studies and science to make sure you’re getting the most from every movement. In this blog article, we’ll share 3 surprising studies that can help you work out more often, burn 10% more calories and reduce the cortisol keeping you from losing weight. SPOILER ALERT: They’ll make summer workouts more fun too!
SCIENCE SAYS: Exercising outdoors makes you feel better. (And more likely to workout more often, too!)
A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology found that “compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.”
They also found something surprising. Participants in their study showed a “greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date.” Extra motivation to exercise is always a bonus, especially during busy summer months when it's tempting to skip a workout for a BBQ or beer garden.
Walk. Run. Rollerskate. Play pickleball. Jump rope. Bike. Boat. Hike. Climb. Garden. Swim. You get the idea. Get outside and move! Not sure where to start? At Fitness Together® studios we’ve got your back! Ask your personal trainer for tips to get active outside!
SCIENCE SAYS: You will burn 10% percent more calories walking or running outdoors than you will indoors on a treadmill at the same speed.
John Porcari, an exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse did a study where people rode through a virtual countryside, racing against others. Porcari found that participants in the virtual race exercised up to 12% harder without even noticing. The reason, he says, is distraction. "When you're caught up in your environment, you're less focused on how tired you are or how much your muscles ache.”
Create outdoor workouts where you are likely to encounter people, places and things you like. It's pleasant distractions that help you burn 10% more calories during training. Make it a point to wave at passers-by, take a moment to notice the wildlife or to enjoy the scenery. Not sure where to start? Ask your personal trainer for suggestions about nearby parks or trails to try, or request recommendations on local group training opportunities.
SCIENCE SAYS: You can reduce stress (and frustrating cortisol) by getting outside to work out.
The California Outdoor Recreation Planning Program cites more than 100 studies proving that doing your workout in the wilderness or an outdoor urban area can reduce stress--which can also reduce the cortisol levels keeping you from losing weight.
Boost these stress-reducing (and fast-busting!) benefits, by walking more mindfully. Try walking without listening to music or consider the advice of Danny Dreyer, an esteemed walking and running coach, ultramarathon runner and public speaker, who combines the relaxation principles of t'ai chi with walking. “Direct your focus away from your thoughts and try to get your body moving in a relaxed way,” he says. “Soften your gaze, breathe deeply into your belly through your nose, drop your shoulders and direct your energy into your lower body and away from your head. Try not to plan, think, judge, worry, describe or consider.”
It's still warm out, which means you have plenty of time to capitalize on the benefits of engaging in outdoor activities that suit your personal goals and fitness level. Fitness Together personal trainers are passionate about exercise science. Let us put our knowledge, experience, and passion to work for you!