5 Key Benefits of Creating an Outdoor Gym

According to research by Kompan Sport & Fitness Institute, around 25% of adults worldwide fail to meet the minimum levels of recommended physical activity. A lack of time, money and motivation are the most common reasons given. 
However, we should aim to do a small amount of exercise every day. The NHS recommends that adults undertake 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week and strengthening exercises on at least two days. But don’t worry, this doesn’t always have to involve going to the gym!
During lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of people choosing to keep active outdoors and around 45% of us Brits have found creative ways to exercise at home.  If the gym isn’t for you and you prefer to get outside, read on to discover five great benefits of creating your very own outdoor gym.

1. Improve your mental health
Scientific studies have found that exercising outdoors not only helps to lower blood pressure, but it can also reduce stress levels and improve your mental health. When physical activity is undertaken outdoors, there is a lower level of perceived exertion, so it will feel less strenuous. As a result, you should be able to work harder and feel more fulfilled when exercising outside.  
Breathing in fresh air is also great for better quality sleep and Vitamin D from the sun will help to boost your energy levels. However, it is important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. On hot days, wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and workout in the shade if you can. A shade sail or a canopy is a great option for added UV protection and can be custom-made to fit your outdoor space.
2. Tailor your equipment
With a gym membership, you pay for access to all of the equipment, some of which you will never use. Furthermore, your favourite machines may not be available when you want to use them. With your own outdoor gym, you can customise the design and choose exactly what you want to include.
If you like cardio, a quality stationary bike will enable you to exercise outdoors from the comfort of your own back garden, reducing the need to cycle amongst traffic. Alternatively, you may consider a cross-trainer, free-runner or even a fixed obstacle course for added fun.
3. Fewer time constraints
A lack of time is one of the main reasons stated when people are asked why they aren’t more active. If your gym is a car journey away, you may not feel that you have time to drive there or that it isn’t worth travelling for only a short workout. However, with a gym in your own back garden, you’ll eliminate unnecessary travel time and need less motivation to do some exercise.
Another great benefit is that you will be able to work out whenever you want, and you’ll no longer have to queue for your favourite machine when it is in use. Similarly, you won’t feel pressured by other gym users to rush your workout when they are waiting. 
4. Gain some privacy
If the idea of being surrounded by mirrored walls and working out in front of strangers fills you with dread, you are not alone. Many people feel self-conscious about exercising at the gym. In this case, your own outdoor gym at home could be a great alternative. 
Your own back garden will likely be a much more relaxing environment. Here you can work to your abilities and try new things without feeling the pressure to perform to a certain standard. If you are worried about your garden being overlooked by your neighbours, you might want to consider having a shade sail installed, which will provide extra privacy for your outdoor gym. 
5. Involve friends and family
If you install a set of outdoor gym equipment, several people will be able to use the machines at the same time. This means that you can involve your friends and family and exercise together. You could even invite your neighbours to give it a try. 
Outdoor gyms a great way to involve those who don’t enjoy working out in conventional ways. Why not set challenges to make your training more fun? Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. It’s a proven fact that if you enjoy your workouts, you are more likely to stick to them!

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