Now that we’re halfway through summer, there are just a few weeks left to take advantage of these beautiful sunny days. While we all know the mood-boosting benefits of exercise, it only gets better when you move those endorphin-pumping activities to the great outdoors. In fact, a study shows that just 5 minutes of exercise in a green space can wake up your body and mind, making you feel happier and less stressed.
The Urban Body Laser team can attest that there’s nothing like heading outside for fresh air and fitness. Thankfully we live in such a beautiful city that there’s plenty of ways to stay active, whether it’s with a group of friends or that all-important ‘me time’. We polled the Urban Body Laser team to see how they love to get their heart rate up while also soaking up the sunshine (with plenty of sunscreen, of course!). The best part? No treadmill or stair climber required.
By taking your run to the beach, you’re getting a lot more than just better scenery. Landing on soft sand decreases the amount of stress that hard surfaces put on your feet, and the resistance naturally works your muscles better than the treadmill. The calming atmosphere of the beach sure doesn’t hurt either! Head to Jericho Beach to clock in those kilometres, and then after your run, the Hydrating Spritzer is a must, as it rejuvenates the skin after a sweaty workout.
Not only does hiking offer a physical challenge, but as we mentioned, being in nature is a serious mood-booster. The beautiful scenery and changing terrain shifts your focus to your movements and surroundings, taking your mind off of exercising and providing a sense of calm. Grab a friend and hit the trails for an all-day trek through nature’s playground (just don’t forget to pack plenty of water and sun protection). For the more advanced hikers, the Grouse Grind, Chief, or Sea to Summit are very challenging trails with views that can’t be beat. If you’re looking for something more leisurely, Quarry Rock or Lynn Canyon are also two of our faves.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
A great exercise for balance and strength, stand up paddle boarding is also fun! Ideal for strengthening your core, it’s a relaxing activity where you can go at your own pace and enjoy Vancouver’s beautiful backdrop. By tuning in to the gentle rhythms of the water, a calm sense of awareness can be achieved. Head to False Creek and get paddling!
It may have been years since you last pulled out your bike, but it’s never too late to hop on two wheels again. The physical and mental benefits of cycling outdoors greatly surpass riding a stationary bike because you have to balance, steer, and respond to changing terrain. Trouble sleeping? Try going for morning rides along the Seawall, as the daylight exposure will help get your circadian rhythm back in sync and rid your body of cortisol, leading to a longer and more regenerative sleep. Just don’t forget your helmet!
These are just a few ways to stay active while also exploring your backyard. So skip the gym, grab your gear, and head out!