Think of Sydney, Los Angeles, or Maui and it’s hard not to feel positive. What these three cities have in common is one giant feel-good factor staring you right in the face: sunshine.
Year round, you can count on a hearty dose of vitamin D from that bright yellow dot in the sky, so it comes as no surprise the locals’ mega-watt smiles are just as vibrant.
Likewise, happiness is on the rise in the UK this summer. With a double dose of heat waves ushering in some of the hottest temperatures in a decade, Britons have been making the most of the weather and getting more active outside. But how much do we have to gain from exercising in the great outdoors?
Trading marathon TV box set sessions for jogs in the park is certainly going to improve our fitness and release the endorphins that help reinforce a positive outlook, but evidence suggests the sun has even more gifts to dish out to its most active worshipers.
Adults with the highest vitamin D levels, in a new study, were able to generate greater power from their fast-twitch muscle fibres than their more indoor-oriented counterparts. This means that just by choosing to train outdoors in the sunshine, you can shave seconds off your sprint times and achieve more from those dreaded plyometric drills.
There’s something for the Mr or Mrs Vain in you, too. The same research found that muscles in the arms and legs appeared leaner and more defined when exposed to vitamin D more regularly. Take your workout back to nature and you’ll be one step closer to the lean, defined limbs you love.
I prefer my squats in a wide-open field, with a breeze through my hair and the sun on my skin. The burpees still make me sweat and the planks still burn, but the cool grass delivers welcome reward for my efforts.
With almost 40% of London covered in parks, your next workout is just around the corner. Break down the walls in your life – and your fitness – by making the most of the green space near you. Make your results shine with one-to-one outdoor personal training and round-the-clock guidance. Try out Muddy Plimsolls’ flexible training plans today.