Benefits of Bootcamp

What are the main benefits of bootcamp?
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Benefits of outdoor exercise
Enjoy the sunshine
Exposure to the sun (in moderation, of course, and with sun protection on hot days!) provides us with vitamin D – this is a natural mood-booster and also helps promote calcium absorption, making bones stronger. Being out in the sunshine also causes our bodies to release endorphins, and the brain chemical serotonin, which lift mood. There are tons of scientific studies showing a link between spending time outdoors and reduced stress. So exercising outdoors on a sunny day can help us to feel good. Besides – who wants to be indoors when it’s a gorgeous day outside?!

…Cold weather can be good, too!
Okay, so we’re in England, and there aren’t that many days we get to take advantage of the sunshine. But outdoor exercise in the cold can be pretty good, too! In fact, research has suggested that we burn up to 30% more calories training outside in cold weather.


Fresh air
Exercising outdoors in the fresh air is invigorating. It’ll improve your alertness and decrease your anxiety and hopefully leave you feeling refreshed after!

Mental stimulation
It can get pretty boring working out inside all the time – staring at the same four walls of your living room or the gym, or the digital display on the treadmill, isn’t mentally stimulating at all. Outdoor exercise gives you a much more interesting and varied backdrop for your workout. And, if it keeps you from getting bored, you might find you end up working out for longer, too! Basically the ‘distractions’ outside – i.e. all the interesting things you can see around you – lower your rate of perceived exertion, which make you able to train harder and longer.


  


Health benefits
Remember we said how awesome vitamin D is, for strengthening bones and lifting mood? It also helps lower our risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease; improves insulin function; and triggers fat loss. So being out in the sun topping up vitamin D can lead to much better health.

Less daunting than the gym
We know the gym can be pretty scary, especially if you’re new. You might be worried about not knowing how to use all the equipment, or not being as familiar with the exercises as all the hardcore gym enthusiasts. Exercising outdoors means you don’t have to worry about machines and complicated equipment.

More varied workout
The machines at the gym are great, but they can get you stuck in a routine – if you’re using the treadmill all the time, you’re using the same muscles every time you work out. Heading outside and exercising on different inclines, surfaces and terrain – ones that just can’t be replicated indoors - can help you to exercise different muscles.

Involve nature in your workout!
Speaking of varied workouts… big outdoor spaces and parks like Brockwell Park where we hold our BootCamp sessions are FULL of things that can help you exercise. You actually get to involve nature in your workouts! We’re thinking hill sprints, tricep dips using park benches, using trees to mark where we need to jog or sprint to… way more fun than gym equipment!
  
Benefits of early morning exercise
Here at the Great British Weight-Off BootCamp, we LOVE early morning exercise! If you’re already groaning at the thought of having to get out of bed earlier than usual, or thinking you couldn’t possibly be that disciplined, don’t worry – it can be a daunting thought. But we’ve found that since we started getting in an early morning workout, we wouldn’t have it any other way! In fact, there’s several reasons an early morning session is actually better than an evening one – for your schedule AND your health. Here’s why:

Less people makes it easier for you!
Let’s face it, there are some exercises you just need your space for, and trying to do them in a packed room in the gym is next to impossible. There are more people sharing limited equipment, and all of them need their space to move. There are fewer people working out in the early morning – so more equipment, space, and freedom for you early risers. 

…Hormones?!
Yep! Those crucial hormones (such as testosterone) which help build muscle mass are at elevated levels in the body in the early hours of the morning, because your body replenishes them while you sleep – so if you get your workout done before work, rather than after, you can take advantage of these naturally circulating hormones at their peak time, rather than when they are lower later in the day.

More time for the other important things in your life
Getting up that little bit earlier in the morning, and getting your workout in early, means that you have the whole evening free for family time, hobbies, socialising or relaxation!

More pleasant exercise experience!
It can be a miserable experience working out in the heat of the day (or evening, in summer!) – exercising in the mornings while it’s cool is much more pleasant, we’ve found.

Improves mental clarity
Exercise raises the arousal levels in your body and increases your mental abilities and focus for the next activity on your agenda – so if you get your workout done before heading off to work, school, or college, you’ll find you’re much more alert throughout the day and find it easier to concentrate. You’ll also feel generally more awake and energetic and ready to take on whatever tasks you have to do during the day. Scientific studies have shown that a quick stint of exercise early in the morning is better for your cognitive abilities than a cup of coffee!
  

Enhances your metabolism
Ever heard of EPOC? This refers to “excess post-exercise oxygen consumptions” and simply put, it means your body continues to burn calories at a greater level than usual after your workout, even if you’re just sitting on the bus or in your office. This is because oxygen consumption (and calorie-burning) takes some time to return to normal after exercise. You can use this to your advantage with an early workout: if you exercise as soon as you get up, you’ll have pumped up your metabolism for the day ahead!

Never miss a workout
Maybe you plan to hit the gym in the evening, but then other errands come up during the day. Or you get stuck in rush-hour traffic. Or you’re just really tired by the time you’ve finished work. If you exercise in the morning, you don’t need to spend the day worrying about whether you’ll have time to fit in your workout – because you’ve already done it!

Improves your discipline
Feel like you’re not a particularly disciplined person? It’s okay – we used to feel like that, too. But getting in the routine of getting up early to exercise gets easier with time – and it actually enhances your personal discipline, in all areas of your life. You’ll feel proud of yourself, and realise that you can commit to things even if they require sacrifice. Plus, the knowledge that you are sacrificing your nice comfy bed will subconsciously prompt you to work harder and look for other ways to support your healthy lifestyle. If you’re going to all that effort in the mornings to get your workout in, then you’re more likely to eat healthily and avoid unhealthy habits, because you won’t want to undo all your good work!

Improves your sleep
Waking up early to exercise will help you to sleep better at night. Your body will be tired (in the good way!) by the end of the day, and ready to sleep – no more restlessness or insomnia! Morning exercise can improve both the length and the quality of your sleep by promoting deeper sleep cycles. Exercising in the evening, on the other hand, can do the opposite – your body releases hormones like adrenaline after exercise, so it’s unwise to try and sleep shortly after.

Happy, happy, joy, joy!
So basically, early morning exercise will have your metabolism at peak levels, you’ll be looking and feeling great, you’ll discover all this self-discipline you didn’t even know you had, you’ll even be sleeping better – what more can we say?! You’ll be loving life!

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John F. Kennedy