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At Balance Gym, we love the great outdoors. We take pride in our facilities. Quality equipment definitely needs a roof over it to stay functional. But there’s nothing quite like exercising outside, especially in beautiful DC. So, without further ado, here’s our top reasons for working out outside:

5) Change of Pace

“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour,” said the English poet William Cowper. In other words: mix it up! There are so many great activities to try while outside, and the variations will keep you interested in maintaining your workout goals by keeping it interesting. Find yourself bored with a routine? Get out there and find a new way to exercise!

4) Vitamin D

Going outside to workout exposes you to sunlight, which causes the body to react with the production of Vitamin D. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which work to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. While there are a few food choices for boosting Vitamin D, like fish, eggs, and mushrooms, nothing beats good old-fashioned sunshine. Praise the sun!

3) Harder Workout
The world is full of irregularities that can help push your work out to the limits. Things like wind resistance, varied terrain, and temperature fluctuation all work to make your exercise just a little more challenging. In 1897, Shochu-Geiko was a type of martial arts training developed in Japan to occur during the hottest part of the day, typically all throughout the month of August. The idea was that the intense conditions would encourage students to persevere against the harshest adversity. Now that’s challenging!

2) Cognitive Boost
Not only is exercising outdoors great for your body, but also your mind. The increased stimuli and activity help to boost your creativity, concentration, and sleep regulation. All of these come into play with exercise, but are enhanced at a greater level when done outside. This is because of all the things going on right out your door. Fresh air, sights and sounds, and an everchanging environment to keep things exciting!

1) It feels great!

There’s a biological and chemical reason that exercising outdoors feels so good, and that’s because of the hormones being released. There’s a marked increase of dopamine that comes from working out, especially while working out outside, as the stimuli and act of exercise both work to enhance your mood. Serotonin is released in a similar fashion to help regulate mood, cognition, learning, memory, and so many other physiological processes. Yeah science!

One final tip. Before heading into the great outdoors for your workout, be sure to swing by Balance Gym and recruit a workout buddy to join you. Your exercise will be even more productive when you have a good friend that is pushing you to work hard and play harder.