"Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors," says Simon Cowen, Fitness First PT Ambassador. "And slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown," he adds. So, basically, doing nothing different but taking your workout outside makes it LOADS more effective. Amazing.2. Outdoor workouts are awesome for your mood.
"Numerous pieces of research show a clear connection between spending time outdoors and a reduction in stress. Plus, fresh air and increased oxygen helps release the feel-good brain chemical serotonin—meaning your outdoor training sessions not only help keep you fit and healthy, they put you in a fantastic mood too," says Simon.3. The scenery stops you from getting bored.
Real talk: No matter how much you love Scott Disick, watching the Kardashians over and over from the cross trainer does get a bit dull. "The beauty of exercising outdoors is the space you're in. Running through different scenery means you have a lot to look at, so you're less likely to get bored and end up exercising for longer, almost by accident," says Simon. Not only that: When the weather's right, who wants to be cooped up in a gym?4. You can tone your whole body, for free.
You may not notice it on the first glance, but parks are FULL of things (free things!) that will help you tone muscle. Simon says: "Hill sprints are a great way of getting maximum results, particularly as sprinting is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. Short, sharp bursts of movement at an incline will help push you to the limit while also building and toning muscle. Plus, local parks and green spaces are home to a wide range of objects that can double up as exercise equipment. Take a park bench: You can do tricep dips or step-ups. Even a tree can enhance your workout: Try some explosive jumps where you aim to hit as many branches as high as you can. Or do a 3:1 ratio jog where you jog to three trees and then sprint to the forth—get creative!"
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.