Increasing numbers of us prefer to keep fit in the open air
Nearly half of us exercise outside three times a week, with more women than ever choosing to keep fit in the open air - that's a 52% increase on 2007, according to research from sports bra brand Shock Absorber.
Sixty percent of women say that costly gym fees are the main spur to swap the treadmill for the great outdoors.
But the study also found that more than a third (34%) of women felt they achieved a better workout because they were inspired by the surroundings, and 50% loved the fresh air.
Running and cycling were the most popular outdoor activities, with trends such as Buggy Fit and British Military Fitness helping drive the uptake of open air fitness among women.
According to Dr Jo Barton, leading researcher in green exercise at the University of Essex, 88% of people experienced an overall improvement in mood after exercising outdoors compared with 45% of people whose mood worsened after exercising indoors.
'Green exercise offers unique benefits compared to working out indoors. It significantly improves mood, self-esteem and restores mental fatigue. Added to this, people work harder when in a natural environment but perceive their workout to be easier,' says Dr Barton.
'Training in the great outdoors also provides essential variety, especially with the changeable British weather – this maintains interest and reduces dropout whereas keeping fit indoors is more predictable.'
See also: five ways to make the most of exercising outside
Shock Absorber has launched its #Get Out There campaign to promote the benefits of exercising outdoors - and wants to hear about the inspirational places where you enjoy training. Visit getoutthere.shockabsorber.co.uk to share your favourite open air exercise spots - and find out Shock Absorber's top 10 UK locations for getting active in the fresh air.
Shock Absorber’s Kirsty Kothakota says, 'Many women have their favourite exercise location which gives their workout that extra boost. The aim of our #Get Out There campaign is to provide a nationwide picture of inspirational and accessible green exercise places.
'Research shows participants work harder when exercising outdoors so it is important women wear the right sports bra. A Shock Absorber sports bra will give you the support you need, helping to further boost performance and confidence.'
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