We DUFFNATICS love our gym.  There is no better place to sweat it out when you’re in group fitness classes, working the weights or using our equipment. BUT with all of this gorgeous weather hitting the LowCountry, we’re dedicating this week’s blog to reasons why EXERCISING OUTDOORS is GREAT FOR YOU!

There are countless amazing places to break a sweat all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston, so read on to get inspired to take it OUTSIDE!


LiveStrong explains, “Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind.” 

Exercising outside GIVES YOU A DOES OF D

Everyday Health adds to the health benefits of working out in the daylight: “Scientists recommend outdoor exercise as a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight. This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.”

Exercising outside BRIGHTENS YOUR MOOD

Time Magazine consulted Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live:  “Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors.  You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin.”  And as the article explains, the higher your levels of serotonin, the brighter your mood.

Exercising outside SHAKES THINGS UP

Take it from Active, who explains that variety is the spice of life—even in your workouts: “Unpredictability is essential for the human spirit. When you exercise outside, every day the environment is a little bit different. Even if you work out at the same park, chances are the weather and surroundings will never be quite the same as they were the day before.”

Exercising outside can MAKE YOU SMARTER

Women’s Health consulted Jo Barton, Ph.D., the lead author of a 2011 study that analyzed the mental health of 53 people who were involved in indoor or outdoor activities for six weeks:  ”Humans were hunter-gatherers and farmers for some 300,000 generations; have been industrialized for only six to eight, so we are outdoor animals living largely inside. Closeness to nature increases our well-being—it has an immunizing effect by protecting us from future stresses and helping us concentrate and think more clearly.”

Exercising outside BURNS MORE CALORIES

And leave it to Cosmo to get down to brass tacks.  They quote Simon Cowen, Fitness First PT Ambassador who explains: “Resistance from the wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors.  And slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown.  So, basically, doing nothing different but taking your workout outside makes it LOADS more effective.”

For ideas on GREAT OUTDOOR EXERCISES check out next week’s blog!