Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Just get outside

The great outdoors – get out and savour the sun as much as possible.

Last week we had another spell of beautiful weather, but did you take the chance to get outside?
I have written before about the benefits of training outside, but simply stepping out your front door will also give you loads of health benefits.
Sometimes in my work I can find myself stuck indoors in a gym or school hall. When the weather is anyway decent I grab the opportunity to train and coach outside.
As soon as we step outside the feel good hormones and instant smiles released by everyone is enough to know you’re on the right path.
Then, when we run, jump, roll, slam tyres or whatever activity you are doing it always feels better and easier to recover.
Rather than breathing in the stale sweaty air of a gym or hall you can inhale all that is good about the great outdoors, even better when you are surrounded by nature.
The whole point of this article is not just about training outside, it’s about just getting outside.
I’m currently reading a book called ‘Own Your Day – Own Your Life’ by Aubrey Marcus.
I’m loving this read as it gives you practical advice that is backed by both research and experience.
Aubrey talks about his morning routine and breaks it down into three steps: hydration, movement and light. Hydration should be the most obvious.
Your body loses water overnight just from breathing and it doesn’t take much more than that to start the deleterious effects of dehydration.
First thing when you get out of bed drink 12oz of water with a dash of sea salt and lemon. He calls it the morning mineral cocktail.
The next most important thing to do is to set your circadian rhythm in motion. Getting as much sunlight as you can on your body, and just moving around for a few minutes signals to the body that you are awake and ready to own the day.
Then when it is dark, your body can start the signal that it is time to rest, connect and recover, by producing important hormones like melatonin.
In my morning routine I covered two out of his three, missing out on the light.
I have since added light into my routine, which is made easier by the early sunrise and good weather.
I simply open my back door, step outside, breath in some fresh air and let the morning sunlight hit me right on the face.
For a few minutes I listen to the birds and just breath, no mad zen like thoughts I just pause for a few minutes and then get on with my morning.
If your mornings used to be like mine a few years ago, where you jumped out of bed at the last minute rushed around and hopped into the car before you head to work, then maybe it’s time you made a few simple changes.
Even start with Aubrey’s three steps and make use of our early sunrises by getting outside before you start the day.
If you feel you don’t have time, then simply get up five minutes early and use this time to look at the sky rather than your phone.
Once you try this you will soon realise you are getting more than just extra vitamin D.
You will feel happier, concentrate more and you will also have a positive effect on those around you.
Morning is just one opportunity. We should be looking at different times of the day to get more sunlight.
How about stepping outside for your tea or lunch break, taking your work outside, talking on the phone outside, doing all or part of your training outdoors or going for a picnic with family or friends.
The whole point is that you don’t have to be outside all day every day. Simply planning or even reminding yourself to step outside can have so many positive effects on your health and life.

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