Give Your Body and Brain a Boost with Outdoor Training

Guest post by Chris Mackay

Research shows that most people spend 90% of their time indoors, but the human body was not designed to spend so much time inside.  Your mind and body benefit so much from being outside, enjoying the fresh air and open space – and it’s a great way to get fit too.

Outdoor training requires you to overcome factors such as heat, cold wind and rain as well as changes in terrain. Therefore our bodies are required to use more muscles than with comparable gym based exercises. And as a result more calories are burned.

Three key benefits of outdoor training:

1. Exercise anywhere, anytime – and no expensive gym fees

When exercising outdoors you lose the reliance on something external like a gym or health clubs in order to exercise. Getting used to outdoor training means you can stick to your exercise programme anywhere, anytime and even when you are on holiday. The easier it is for you to exercise the better your chances are of following an exercise programme and achieving your goals.

2. Nature’s feel good factor

People who train outdoors experience higher levels of post exercise endorphins. These are endogenous compounds that are produced in the pipituary gland and hypothalamus during exercise. They are nature’s natural pain relievers and produce a feeling of well-being. Endorphine derives from the word ‘endogenous’ and ‘morphine’ i.e. a morphine like substance originating from within the body. Training outdoors has been associated with higher levels of natures ‘feel good’ chemical in the body.

3. Vitamin D boost

Training outdoors gives your body more vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D makes you feel great; it helps make your bones stronger, strengthen your immune system and can help protect your body against cancer. Also, being outdoors in the summer means you might even get a tan, although this maybe a bit optimistic in Yorkshire!

So for a great workout that will leave you energized, positive and improve your health take advantage of Yorkshire’s wonderful outdoors. For example in Harrogate you can take a walk in the beautiful Valley Gardens or The Stray, go for a run or take part in an outdoor fitness class or personal training.

Chris Mackay is a personal trainer at Urban Gym in Harrogate, which provides personal training using fun, challenging, rewarding and effective training programmes bespoke to each individual’s needs. You can contact Chris on 07984 381 210, or via e-mail:  You can also follow Chris on Twitter @UrbanGym1.

As a business strategist with decades of expertise in helping owner managers and family businesses to achieve a work/life balance, contact me on or go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or

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  1. It’s true that proper exercise is important and it will give you a lot of benefits. A lot of people underestimate the power of Vitamin D which is very significant to our health. Everyone should exercise regularly to be more fit and healthy.

  2. Annie hi,

    Sorry I missed you comment back in early December, put it down to the rush up to Christmas.

    You/re absolutely right about vitamin D and the problem is compounded with all the sun screen people splash on these days. That’s why I enjoy exercising in the early morning lots of clean, fresh sunshine and air.

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