What Happens When You Ditch the Gym and Train Outdoors?

The gym has long been a go-to destination for those looking to stay fit and healthy. However, in recent years, many fitness enthusiasts have been ditching the traditional gym and taking their workouts outdoors. Training outdoors not only offers a change of scenery but also comes with a host of benefits that can’t be found within the four walls of the gym. So, what actually happens when you ditch the gym and train outdoors?

1. Improved mental well-being

Working out in nature has been proven to have a positive impact on mental well-being. The fresh air, sunlight, and the sounds of nature can all contribute to a more enjoyable and fulfilling exercise experience. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, leading to improved overall mental health.

Additionally, being in nature can engage our senses in a unique way, helping to increase focus and stimulate a sense of mindfulness during workouts. This heightened mental state can lead to enhanced workouts and make the exercise feel more satisfying.

2. Increased vitamin D levels

One of the main advantages of training outdoors is the exposure to sunlight, which allows our bodies to naturally produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining healthy bones, enhancing immune function, and boosting mood. By working out outdoors, you can soak up some vitamin D and support your overall health.

However, it’s important to remember to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. Wearing sunscreen and workout-appropriate clothing that covers exposed areas can help you avoid any harmful effects of the sun while still reaping the benefits of outdoor training.

3. More varied and challenging workouts

While the gym provides a controlled and structured environment for workouts, training outdoors opens up a world of possibilities. Nature offers an endless array of terrains, such as hills, trails, and beaches, which can add variety and challenge to your workouts.

Running on uneven terrain engages more muscles, improves balance and coordination, and burns more calories than running on a treadmill. Likewise, outdoor cycling challenges your body to adapt to different inclines and wind resistance, providing a more dynamic workout.

Furthermore, outdoor training often involves functional exercises that mimic real-life movements, such as climbing, jumping, and crawling, which can improve overall strength, flexibility, and agility.

4. Increased calorie burn

When you take your workouts outdoors, you may unknowingly increase your calorie burn. Research has shown that exercising in natural environments can lead to a higher energy expenditure compared to indoor workouts.

This increased calorie burn can be attributed to a variety of factors. Outdoor exercises often require more complex movements and engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Additionally, variations in terrain and weather conditions can increase the effort required to perform certain exercises, resulting in a higher calorie expenditure overall.

5. Enhanced overall well-being

Training outdoors not only benefits your physical and mental health but also enhances your overall well-being. The change of scenery and the sense of adventure that comes with outdoor workouts can boost motivation and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Additionally, being surrounded by nature can provide a sense of awe and appreciation for the world around us, fostering a deeper connection with our environment.


When you ditch the gym and embrace outdoor training, you open yourself up to a whole new world of fitness possibilities. Improved mental well-being, increased vitamin D levels, more varied and challenging workouts, increased calorie burn, and enhanced overall well-being are just a few of the benefits that await. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your water bottle, and head outside to experience the transformative power of nature on your fitness journey.