Outdoor exercise in a natural setting (i.e sea, parks, fields, rivers) has plenty of health-enhancing benefits that we will highlight in this article. Exercising outdoors combines the best of both worlds by helping you step outside for fresh air and boost your physical and mental health.

Here are five benefits of getting your sweat on with outdoor workout!

1.Improving your mood

Outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost, improves your cognitive ability and brain memory. If you’re working from home and stuck in a rut, try grabbing lunch outside or take a walk to your nearest cafe. This short bout of increased physical activity can immediately put you in a better and more productive mood.

2.Healthy dose of Vit-D

Our bodies create Vitamin D when sunlight hits our skin, Vitamin D offers significant immune-boosting benefits, as well as playing an important role in the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

3. Inhale the fresh air

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to live close to a park or the coastlines but a short walk or run outside increases vitality and enhances your health. When you start moving more, your body will automatically start to get healthier.

4. Open space creates a safer environment

We live in interesting times where the more open space we have while exercising, the safer it is for everyone. All you need for a quick effective workout is a good set of earphones and a fun workout program that you can easily choose from online or book an instructor with us!

5. Try something new and challenge yourself.

If you’re tired of being stuck indoors all day in an office setting or working from home, why not try to take your workout outdoors. Most exercise programs are versatile and easy to replicate in an outdoor setting which may be even more challenging! Trick your body into trying a new workout to burn extra calories and fat. Personal Trainers often have a range of equipment that can be used outdoors, such as dumbbells and barbells, so training outdoors is one sure way of taking your workout to the next level and keeping things interesting!

Find a personal trainer on our page and get in touch with the personal trainer who best suits you or click HERE to book a session with us!

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We constantly get asked a wide variety of questions from our members and we have compiled some of the most common exercise myths we have heard. We're here to tell you if it is true or false. Now, let's gear up!

1. Do I have to work up a sweat when I am physically active for it to count?

Not necessarily. Moving your body and raising your heart rate relative to your fitness level is the most important element of physical activity. The main purpose of sweating is to cool your body down. You may sweat when you are physically active even when you are not exercising such as gardening or walking to work. If you’re a beginner to exercise, start slowly and you can expect to secrete sweat from the skin. Or, if you’re older and you don’t seem to sweat as much you used to, you may not sweat. If you are moving your body more than you usually do, you are already working towards better fitness regardless of whether you sweat or not.

2. Exercise turns fat into muscle.

False. Exercise cannot turn fat into muscle because every type of cell is unique and cannot transform from one form to another. However with exercise, particularly strength training helps build muscle, which helps you burn more calories and lose fat.

3. Abdominal crunches will make you lose belly fat.

False. You can’t control which part of your body will lose fat when you are physically active. Genetics plays a big part in controlling body composition and shape. Crunches will simply strengthen your abdominal muscles, which are underneath the layer of belly fat. However, if you balance the calories you eat with exercise to reach a desirable body weight, hopefully you will lose fat from various parts of your body, including your belly.

4. Simply reducing sedentary behaviors is not enough to improve physical fitness.

False. Research shows that cutting back on sedentary activities, such as television viewing or video games will encourage you to be more physically active. In fact, a 70 kilogram (154 lb) person who adds two (cumulative) hours per day of light movement such as leisure walking as part of a regular routine can lose an extra 15 kilograms (33 lbs) of weight per year. So, if you’re standing up, you’re already on your way to becoming healthier!

5. Restricting calories is the best way to lose weight.

False. Research has shown that changing your eating behaviors to lose weight works better in combination with exercise. Aerobic exercise burns the most calories while strength training builds more muscles to burn calories! An effective exercise training plan paired with a healthy diet is a winning game plan to achieve your desired weight goal.

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We have to admit one of the best thing about Chinese New Year is the food. It's so easy to overindulge and feel bloated after a big meal and we don't blame ya!

Yoga is a natural cure for stomach discomfort instead of flopping back on the coach. With a combination of deep breathing, twists and stretches that target abdominal organs, this sequence relieves a wide range of digestive discomfort.

Before the starting the sequence, I invite you to take few minutes for belly breath. Breathing is helps to massage your organs, move blockages and help you to relax physically and mentally as your digestive systems fire up. You can keep this breathing routine during the practice.

- Inhale through your nose, feel your belly expand and push out.

- Exhale through your nose, feel your belly contract and fall.

1. Full Wind Pose

- Gently hold your knees towards ribcage

- Don't need to press

- Feel your back relaxed

2. Spinal Twist

- Turn to right side into a fetal position

- Keep your knee tucked in close

- Extend the right leg

- Reach left arms up and open chest and shoulder to the left

- Allow left arm & possibly shoulder to rest on the mat

* Repeat other side

3. Bridge Pose

- Place your feet flat on the mat

- Bring the heels in close

- Feet & hips hip distance apart

- Tuck tailbone, and lift your spine & hips off the mat

- Engage your leg so your knee press forward & keep tailbone tucking

4-5. Cat / Cow Pose

Cow Pose *

- Cross ankles seated position

- Place hands on your knees

- Inhale lift your chest and chin

Cat Pose *

- Exhale tuck your chin and cave your chest

Hope these simple poses could make you feel better. Happy Chinese New Year !

Written by : Charlotte Chiu (Yoga Instructor)

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