Sunlight, fresh air, the city skyline – an outdoor workout sounds kind of like a vacation, doesn’t it? We promise your indoor spin bike won’t get offended if you ditch the gym and head outdoors during your next workout.

Check out these reasons to feel the breeze on your face and get outside!

Bonus: looking for an opportunity to do so? Check out Windy City Sweatout – an annual 90-minute spin class appropriate for all fitness levels featuring high-energy instructors from FFC, heart-pumping music (plus hits from Windy City Smokeout’s featured artists), and an AMAZING cause to fund ALS spearheaded by Augie’s Quest. Stay tuned for more information on dates!

Improved Mood

Feeling blue? Go green! Just five minutes of exercise in a “green space” like a park can boost mood and self-esteem, according to UK researchers. Bonus: Go blue, too! The biggest mental health booster was found when the “green space” contained a lake or a river.

Related: speaking of mood – nutrition can help you regulate it. Check out these tips!

Natural Caffeine 

Swap your morning cup of joe for a sunny sweat session. A study from the University of Rochester found that just 20 minutes outside can have the same pick-me-up effect as a cup of coffee. Put that $4 toward a new pair of running shoes!

A Free Dose of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone health, cancer prevention, hormonal problems and a strong immune system. Now get this – exercising in the great outdoors is an easy way to get your Vitamin D … for free. Experts suggest 10 minutes of unprotected sun three times a week. Just make sure to apply that sunscreen at minute 11!

Habit-Forming Boost

If you want to see physical results, consistency is the key. And an outdoor workout might just make that easier! A 2011 survey found that outdoor exercisers “declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date” than those who only worked out inside.

The Perfect Playlist

Not sure what to spin to? Check out this curated list of country-centric songs (featuring hits from featured artists at the Windy City Smokeout) that will get you in the mood, covering everything from warm-up to that last hill and even the cooldown!

  • Kip Moore – “Somethin’ Bout a Truck” – an interesting twist and rhythm for a warm up song…
  • Jake Owen – “Good Company” or “8 Second Ride” – both good for a buildup for some tough hill climbs with lots of resistance!
  • Lee Brice – “Hard to Love” – perfect chorus for some sprints!
  • Eli Young – “Salt Water Gospel” – great song to keep the speed going!
  • Luke Combs – “When it rains, it pours” – more hills climbs…
  • Steve Moakler – “Love Drunk” – cooldown time!

Post written by FFC contributor Augie’s Quest.


Try the best gym in Chicago for free!