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Unplug with BMF - World Mental Health Day

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October 10, 2019

Maybe we’re biased, but in our view, there’s just nothing quite like feeling the grass underfoot and the fresh air on your face while you’re getting fit with your friends.
Nature is natural therapy and has wide-ranging impacts on all aspects of our health, including mentally and emotionally as well as physical effects such as reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and reducing stress hormones.
But rather than take our word for it, we decided to get the experts involved, and see if there really was anything better about getting fit in the great outdoors – it turns out there’s a lot that backs up our theory! Check out what we found:

Improved Mental Wellbeing

  • There is a tonne of literature published on the effects of getting outdoors. A UK PARLIAMENT REPORT IN 2016 showed some pretty compelling findings when it comes to the impact of green space on our mental health as a nation, even suggesting that “nature-based” therapy be used to relieve some mental and physical illnesses and improve recovery time. 
  • Meanwhile, A STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX examined the impact of exercising in nature, or green exercise, on mental health. The results showed that exposure to outdoor exercise had significant positive impacts like improving self-esteem and mood and reducing stress and insomnia for both males and females across all age groups.
  • Another recent study published by Mind found that taking a walk in nature reduced depression by 71% of participants!
  • The results don’t get much more compelling than that when it comes to nature’s impact on our mental wellbeing so ditch the treadmill and GET TO YOUR NEAREST PARK!

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Get more bang for your buck!

  • By training outdoors, you will experience more strenuous, longer workouts!
  • According to medical studies done at Harvard, wind resistance experienced while running outside can lift your calorie burn by up to 10%.
  • Not only will you burn more, but you’ll do more too. Studies have shown that those who work out outdoors generally end up training for longer, due to increased enjoyment and reduced boredom.
  • Not only do you do more exercise working outside but it’s better for your body. The firm, flat surfaces of gym equipment like treadmills place more stress on your knees and ligaments, causing a bigger impact on your joints and making it harder to recover.
  • Outdoor runners tend to flex their ankles more and expend more energy when compared to treadmill runners. Cyclists are also shown to burn more calories when riding outdoors.
  • Another study shows that people who exercise outside do so for longer. The study participants had their activity monitored for a week; the people who exercised outside spent an average of 30 minutes more exercising than those who exercised inside. 

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Forget about the clock 

The great thing about working out outdoors is that it doesn’t feel like exercise. So instead of painfully watching your workout tick by measured by the countdown timer on the treadmill or the music videos on repeat in the gym. When we’re outdoors we are so immersed in our environment and surrounded by different stimuli, that clock-watching goes out the window and before we know it, an hour of exercise flashes by. You won’t get time to clock watch on our BMF sessions! 

Let the sunshine in

  • Now, we know the UK isn’t, well, the sunniest spot in the world. This is why it’s more important than ever to soak up that Vitamin D every chance we get, particularly in the Autumn months!
  • Not only does natural light invigorate and energise your body and mind, Vitamin D also enhances energy generation of the muscle and oxidation of the tissues, meaning that working out in the sun has a direct impact on your fitness gains.

Train for an event 

  • There are few things more satisfying than the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a sporting event.
  • And whether it’s a 5KM run or an ultra-marathon, having the looming deadline of a date you’ve been building towards, the motivation is unbeatable.
  • This will in-turn super-charge your competitiveness and add a whole new dimension to your training as you start thinking beyond just physical and aesthetic goals and become focused on beating your personal best!
  • Be Military Fit workouts are an incredible way to take your fitness to the next level while also improving your coordination, agility and mental toughness, so you’re ready for whatever the course throws at you.

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The most sustainable environment out there

Particularly in this day and age, the environment is key. Who needs fancy boutique gyms with tv screens, pumping music, lights, hairdryers, straighteners? Let’s save every inch of energy we have. If there aren’t enough reasons to train outdoors, this should be your prime consideration!

Sign up to your first FREE unique, outdoor military fitness session.

Topics: why get outdoors, workout, low self esteem, better than gym, improve self-esteem, fitness classes, Mind, overcoming anxiety, military fitness training, Bear Grylls, Environment, Pollution