Benefits of exercising in the open air

WildFit Surrey founder Ollie Martin says we spend too much time indoors. Here he explains how to maximise the benefits of exercising in the open air and why it gets better results.

Fundamentally, we spend too much time indoors. Our bodies have been designed through four million years of evolution to profit from the ‘stress’ of being outside, including varied terrains and heat regulation.

Exercising is a great way of making the most of your surroundings, whatever the weather. There’s no need to worry about cold or wet because exercise heats you up, and you’re quite likely to sweat anyway! Furthermore, study after study shows that exercising outdoors achieves better results. As much as we like to talk about the weather here in Britain, England actually has a great climate that complements outdoor training; most parts of the country are rarely bothered by extremes of temperature.

Proven benefits of exercising outdoors:

Heart Healthy

Outdoor exercise is proven to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and is more effective at reducing stress than indoor training (J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2021).

Improves Performance

Outdoor training achieves better performance and more personal bests – maybe because outdoor participants train at higher intensities (GECCOS trial 2021).

Improves Sleep

Exercising outside in the day resets our circadian rhythm, the sleep/wake cycle. Daylight at noon in the back of our retina tells the body when its midday so it also knows when it’s midnight. This helps with insomnia, increases the quantity of sleep, improves quality of sleep and also helps with jetlag.


When training outdoors, you can also enjoy the benefits of sunshine. Natural light invigorates and provides more energy for the mind and body. Sunshine provides the Vitamin D that we need, brings colour to our cheeks and undoubtedly lift our spirits! Sunlight also enhances energy generation in the muscles, and oxidation of the tissues. There is no better place for a workout than outside in on a sunny day.

Fresh Air

We live in an increasingly toxic world and outdoors is always less toxic than indoors.


Reconnecting with nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and increase vitality. It also allows for a more natural and more functional (useful) exercise training.


The terrain and natural setting offer so much more variety than indoor training, where space can be at a premium. Machines in gyms are only popular because they are space efficient – you can pack in more people than when people are training functionally and free. Variety reduces repetitive strain injuries and increases total performance. WildFit Surrey offers a 30-station outside obstacle course (link), a powerplay square, a strength and stretch tent and 10 acres of free play!


Exercising outdoors is generally more playful. This helps with motivation and injury prevention.


Could being too clean and hygienic be the cause of our modern diseases? Your mircobiome is the totality of the microbes in your body. Microbes are bacteria and viruses – they are the ‘non-human’ part of you. You’ve probably heard that gut microbiota is needed for digestion but also the totality of your microbiome is the key to your overall health. We are a walking, talking rainforest – we are full of bacteria! Only about 2% of microbes are harmful to us and the best way to control these is through the flourishing of the other 98%. Get dirty! 


Outdoor exercising has been shown to be more social.

Child Friendly

Outside is often more accessible for the whole family. Maximise your time with your children while getting enjoying exercise and fresh air.

Eye Workout

Outdoors makes your eyes work with a more changes in vision length. Plus, the view changes seasonally and often even daily.

Better Mood

All in all, outdoor exercise benefits the whole body by bringing joy, well-being and a better mood! If you don’t believe me or the research, just try it and see if you feel better.

Read more: Instructed outdoor circuits at WildFit Surrey near Redhill

Sayings you’ll hear Ollie quoting a lot!

“Skin is waterproof”
“There’s no such thing as poor weather only poor clothing choices”
“Variety is the spice of training”
“Why train indoors?”
“Exercising indoors is a wasted opportunity”
“Come and play”

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WildFit Surrey offers individual and group circuit sessions, children’s activities, holistic retreats, teambuilding, events and much more.

Immerse yourself in nature as you run, climb, scramble and swing around our obstacle adventure. WildFit Surrey boosts fitness and provides a raft of wellbeing benefits. So come and de-stress while testing your physical ability among the trees!

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Enjoy a sense of freedom that you can’t get from pounding a treadmill in a gym. Come and try our Outdoor Circuits and we guarantee you’ll have a good time.

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“Training with Ollie will be nothing like you’ve ever done before and I can guarantee you’ll wish you had found it years ago!”

57-year-old sports therapist Alex


“I came here with my friends. We wanted to get fit and have a good time while doing it. Although it really challenged us, we laughed the whole way round. By the end we were both exhilarated and exhausted.”



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Whether you are new to yoga or experienced this will be an invigorating day of practice and information with lots to take away.

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