Outdoor Fitness and Women

WHY CONNECTING WITH OTHERS IN NATURE IS SO IMPORTANT

Gathering with other women is fundamental to feeling supported and loved. All women, regardless of whether they have children or not are intrinsically connected to one another, with our energies feeding off one another. Whatever the age gap or difference in life experiences, women need women.

Yet sometimes these differences can appear too big and without realising it, you find yourself without any strong female figures in your life. Perhaps you’ve only just moved to Suffolk and haven’t met anyone new yet. Or you’ve just had a baby and are finding maternity leave a little boring (it’s okay to feel that way!) or more challenging than you had anticipated. Maybe you’re older and have lost decades-old friends due to divorce or a sad loss. Whatever is going on in your life, there’s always room for more incredible ladies to spend time with.

As women, we benefit so much from the company of one another, often fulfilling emotional gaps unfulfilled elsewhere. Naturally empathetic and nurturing, being around other women who we feel comfortable enough to share our thoughts and feelings with can release more of the calming hormone oxytocin and therefore decrease our stress levels.

All of our classes here at Suffolk Women’s Wellness Centre offer you the chance to connect with like-minded women, taking a little time out to themselves to function the best they can. But how can we take that one step further?

By getting outside!

Group fitness classes in an outdoor environment – a light Spring breeze on your face, trees rustling overhead and soft grass underfoot – lend a completely different light to getting fit. Being in a physically larger space with sky above opens your mind up, allows you to breathe that bit deeper and, we believe, connect that little more easily with the women you’re working out alongside.

BENEFITS OF WORKING OUT OUTDOORS

Working out outside can be as simple or intense as you like and there are plenty of benefits to it. Whether you live in the countryside or a city, getting outside should be a priority each day. Be it a gentle walk pushing your newborn through the park (or to the nearest cafe) or a more intensive run or fitness class, exercising outdoors is as simple as pulling on your trainers, something comfy and walking out the door.

Being mindful is also important when it comes to getting outdoors. With so much technology at our fingertips and the possibility of streaming so many films or albums into our homes, it can be hard to look outside and get out there. But it’s always worth it because after all: nothing else quite touches on the true beauty of Mother Nature. Ask yourself – when did you last look up?

Whilst going to the gym may tick off the getting fit part of your health intentions, let’s be honest – staring at yourself in the mirror as you run on a treadmill isn’t exactly inspiring is it? In fact, we’d say it’s pretty boring! Getting outside with the variation of what you can see makes getting from A to B a far more fulfilling experience because you will actually *see* that journey. In your mind, you remember starting ‘there’ and now you are ‘here’. You will also use more of your senses – physically feeling the weather and hearing birds singing, dogs barking, people chatting.

OUTDOOR EXERCISE FOR LOW MOOD

If you’ve been finding things tough recently, especially if you’re in the postnatal phase of motherhood, talking with others and getting some fresh air have both been proven time and time again to reduce depression and low mood. Whether it’s your first baby or third, sharing your experiences with others and hearing their take on things always helps you feel supported and less alone. After all our outdoor fitness classes, we help give you this space with time for a cuppa and conversation afterwards. Plus, if you bring your little one along, the extra bonding time that will make you both feel more content and relaxed (and aid both if you with a better night’s sleep!).

It’s often said that it’s harder to make friends as you get older but we disagree. Putting in a little effort to find groups of like-minded women is well worth it and will help with your sense of identity which is really brought out through social interactions. Surrounding yourself with other positive-thinking, positive-acting women will help overturn the belief that health has to deteriorate as we age. A Canadian study found that ‘Exercise is important for post-menopausal women because it helps to decrease the prevalence of chronic diseases, physical disability, cancer, and infections and reduces the risk of dementia.’ It also discovered that working out outdoors vs indoors, women were more likely to stick to the routine with the added bonus of feeling a greater sense of tranquility afterwards. And don’t we all wish for tranquility?

Our outdoor classes can be found HERE. More guided nourishing walks and outdoors activities will be planned by SWWC. Look out for the release date via our newsletter.

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