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July 27, 2015 2 min read

Who doesn't like spending time outside in the summer? One of the most beautiful things about summer is the way it allows us to mix two things we love dearly: being outdoors AND exercise! Here are 4 really great reasons to take your workouts from the gym to the outdoors (as if you needed them!):

1. You burn more calories when you exercise outside.

"Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors," says Simon Cowen, U.K.-based Fitness First PT Ambassador. "And slopes and uneven ground make you body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown," he adds. Taking your workout outside makes is way more effective!

2. Outdoor workouts are great 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 keeps you from getting bored.

"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. Besides, don't you want to get out there and enjoy the great weather anyway? Killing two birds with one stone. Love it.

4. You can tone your whole body.

Tired of paying for a gym membership or expensive home equipment? Take a look around your neighbourhood park. It is full of things you can use -- for free -- to give your entire body a workout. "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 triceps 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-to-1 ratio jog where you jog to three trees and then sprint to the forth — get creative," says Simon. What are you waiting for? Let's go outside! Source: Cosmopolitan  

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