When people think of exercise, they typically think of hitting the indoor gym. While that may seem a more practical option during the cold winter months, there is overwhelming evidence that exercising outdoors is better for you, both physically and mentally.  

Outdoor fitness can be a structured exercise programme that takes advantage of natural terrain to get you in shape or it can be as simple as a brisk walk around the block.

Kieran Keenan

1. No membership fees
You don’t need any special equipment – the outdoors is available wherever you are, just outside your door.

2. A free daily dose of vitamin D
Outdoor exercise is a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight which enhances energy generation.

3. Exercise for your mind 
When you exercise outdoors, your mind is aware of the changing terrain. Whether you use the sand on a beach or the winding path of a hill, your mind has to focus differently than it would on a flat gym floor.

4. You’ll work out longer 
The outdoor distractions of your surroundings take your mind off the work of working out and, as a result, you’ll end up going a lot further than you would have if you’d been walled in.

5. You’ll burn more calories
Performing the same exercise outdoors is better for you than doing the same activity indoors. Roadrunners burn more calories when running at the same speed than treadmill runners mainly because of the wind resistance they encounter. 

Kieran Keenan is an advanced personal trainer and the owner of Fitsquad.