The Melbourne nights are drawing in and suddenly it’s getting harder to get out of bed in the mornings. I’m not much of a winter person. I love the summer and find it much easier to stick to my exercise regime when the sun’s shining.
For me, maintaining a regime of winter exercise is all about looking beyond the gym and getting back in contact with nature. Somehow it’s much easier to sustain the motivation to stay fit when you’re outdoors.
Outdoor or ‘green exercise’ can include anything from Tai Chi in the park to walking along the beach, hiking in the mountains or surfing at sunrise.
According to Jules Pretty, a professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, green exercise delivers health benefits that include improved mood and self-esteem, and can even lower blood pressure.
Research shows that interacting with nature can positively impact our health and wellbeing, relieve stress, and promote concentration and clear thinking. This is due to the stimulation of the changing scenery and terrain and the mood boost that comes from being outside in the sunshine.
Luckily, Melbourne’s parks, gardens and beaches make it easy for us to get outdoors. Take the time to wander in the great outdoors today, even if it’s just for 20 minutes at lunchtime. I guarantee your body, and mind, will thank you for it.