Stepping (Out) Into Spring: The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Group fitness class taken outside in a park.

 
Spring has arrived! That means sunny days, flowers in bloom, and absolutely perfect weather. But if you operate a rec center, gym, or fitness studio, it might also mean declining membership and sparse class participation. And it’s understandable, because most people would rather spend the springtime outdoors, rather than sweating it out inside. 

So what’s a way you can keep your class numbers up when the weather gets better? Easy, give your customers the best of both worlds by taking your group fitness classes outside! When we exercise outdoors, we get so many benefits, for our minds, bodies, and spirits. Not to mention, it’ll make your members happy! So with that said, let’s jump right into how and why you should offer outdoor fitness classes for your members, especially in the spring!

HOW TO TAKE GROUP CLASSES OUTDOORS

Expanding Your Offerings

They say variety is the spice of life, right? Well, when you add outdoor workouts, you’ll really be spicing up your facility’s offerings! Offering an exciting new workout option to your members is a great way to keep them engaged, interested, and coming back for more. Consider offering group options such as:

• Yoga in the Park
•Urban Bootcamp
Senior Sweat in the Shade
Brick/Duathlon Workouts (30 Min Spinning + 30 Min Running)
Mom & Me P.E.

Group of young women taking a Mommy & Me yoga class in the park

Now to offer workouts like this you do need to think about where they can be done outside, but be creative.

• Work with Local Parks – some will even offer this as a complimentary community option.
• Use Your Urban Surroundings – If you’re in a more urban area, know that it’s ok to use your parking lot, for example. A curb alone is a great tool for exercises like incline lunges, dips, step-ups, and more.
Get Your Equipment on Wheels – Get a cart or rack with wheels that easily allows you to bring workout tools in and outdoors. And don’t be shy to ask participants to meet inside to grab their equipment that they then take outside for the workout — I myself call that a Farmer’s Carry, and make it part of the workout!
Schedule Your Classes When it’s Shady – You know your area better than anyone. Learn when the shade hits a specific part of your property, and make sure to plan your workouts in that spot. Just remember, shade moves throughout the day.
Hybrid Classes (Half In, Half Out) – Most of us love some outdoor time, so even if you only do part of the workout outside, it’ll be enough to give your members a fresh air fix. Ideas include…
-Duathlon Workout (cycling followed by running)
-Step & Sculpt (Do the step workout inside, then do some bodyweight exercises outside as a group)
-Dance to Down Dog – Half Zumba, half yoga on the lawn
-And more!

Group fitness class taken outside in a parking lot

THE BENEFITS OF GOING OUTDOORS

Going (And Saving) Green

Running a fitness facility is no easy (or cheap) feat. You’ve got tons of overhead including lighting, air conditioning, heating (in gym showers), regular equipment maintenance, cleaning — the list goes on. But when you just grab a small speaker and step outside for your classes, you’ve got nothing but mother nature around you, which is better for the environment as well as your bottom line. 

Vitamin D, Free of Charge

We all love getting out into the sunshine, but when you and your members exercise outdoors, you’re actually providing them with a free supplement of vitamin D, which helps our bodies build and maintain healthy bones, generate energy in our muscles, and other good things for our overall health. You can also remind your members just how much good stuff is going on in class, simply from being outdoors.

Fresher Air, Better Health

The sad truth is that your members are probably spending most of their time stuck inside. This can lead to breathing in stale air that can lead to headaches and fatigue, and even be dangerous for those with allergies or respiratory problems. By moving your fitness classes outside, you’re giving them lots of new, fresh air in their lungs, which can help them avoid respiratory illnesses and allergens, leading to increased health and better sleep.

Happier Heads

Studies have long shown the connection between time in green spaces and positive mental health. The more time we spend in nature, our body’s production of the ever-dreaded stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Our bodies also produce a higher output of endorphins and dopamine, which help us feel calm, centered, and at peace.

Fit young woman, working out with TRX suspension straps outside

Ready to Sweat into Spring?

So we’ve convinced you to take those sweat sessions out into the sunshine — now, how might you go about doing that? Simple, with unlimited streaming workouts by Studio SWEAT onDemand! We offer a ton of outdoor workouts, many with little to no equipment required, that can be done anytime, anywhere. And with our Personal Device Option, your members can simply grab a mobile device, a workout towel, and some water, and get sweating immediately! To help you get started, check out two of our favorite outdoor workouts:

Urban Bootcamp 2

urban bootcamp 2 blog

60 Minute parking lot virtual fitness class that gives a total body blast using nothing more than a pair of dumbbells! 

Senior Sweat in the Park

senior sweat in the park blog

40-minute, low-impact workout that’s perfect for anyone from 9 to 89!

Like what you see? These are just a peek into the huge library of virtual workouts we offer, here at Studio SWEAT onDemand. We also offer a commercial program called Sweat Pro, that’s perfect for small gyms, large fitness studios, schools, universities, military bases, housing communities, and more. Plus, we also offer a corporate wellness program called the Sweat Force. To learn more about either of these programs or schedule a demo, click here.

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