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What are the health benefits of exercising outside in the West Midlands?

Updated: May 1, 2019

When you think of the west midlands does the image that springs to mind consist of industry in sprawling urban areas? I remember many a summer holiday sat in traffic on spaghetti junction of the M6 overlooking the seemingly grey and smoggy landscape of Birmingham. But for those of us that live in the west midlands we know the hidden secrets and to how much beauty and nature is out there. There is such variation in the landscape it is so much more than urban

When I visit a person’s home I tell them I need the space of a yoga mat to provide personal training. I have trained people in third floor flats, kitchens and living rooms. Yet time and time again if I ask my client “where would you like to meet for training”. The answer is usually “out in the garden/ park”

Now you may think this is to do with being house-proud or wanting to enjoy the British summer that we seem to actually be having this year. But frequently I am told “I never get a chance to go outside, I go from my house to my car to my desk” my clients that train outside often are able to find motivation and strength that they didn’t know they had and subjectively it seems as if they are able to push the boundaries of their achievements when outside.

So why is moving outside good for us?

Compared to exercise indoors, being in green spaces has the following benefits:

With all these health benefits why don’t we always utilse it?

83% of the UK population live in urban areas. It can be easy to fall into the house-car-work routine so if this is you take a moment to think about how you can get outdoors. Can you allocate 5 minutes on your lunch break to go for a walk. Can you sit under a tree when you are having your morning brew? Can you join an outdoor activity or class.

I regularly organise walks and hikes. If you want to find out when my next one is then contact me. The walk will be anxiety safe so if there is anything I can do to make it more accessible then drop me an email.

Sarah is an Occupational Therapist and personal trainer in Solihull who is passionate about helping people flourish @MoodLifterPT

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