Although the gym offers the convenience of multiple machines and ample space for exercise, we should also take advantage of the weather and start sweating in the sunshine! Here are some great advantages of taking your workouts outdoors!

1. It’s Free: Gym memberships are always a little on the pricey side and saving money is never a bad thing. Now you do not have to feel guilty about buying that new yoga mat!
2. Vitamin D: Everyday Health tells us that overweight people are twice as likely to have Vitamin D deficiencies. Kill two birds with one stone by burning calories and soaking up this much-needed vitamin with some sunshine!
3. Improved Mental Health:  Moving your body in changing terrains and elevations not only make you more physically aware but mentally connected as well.  A study from Science Daily suggests that exercising outdoors improves your mood and greatly increases your energy! (photo credit here)
4. The Fresh Air: Even with the fan blowing from your treadmill, the air at the gym can be a tad stifling, not to mention a little smelly. Start sweating outside simply for the fresh air. Benefit Of tells us fresh air even improves circulation!

A few things to consider when exercising al fresco:
1. Cover It Up: As with any exposure to the elements, be sure to protect your skin by applying SPF. The only thing worse than being sore, is being sore AND sunburned.
2. Beat the Heat: Sticking to earlier morning or at dusk, when the sun is not at its peak, will make temperatures more comfortable for exercising.
3. Stay Hydrated:  Outdoor weather can be inconsistent so be sure you are staying properly hydrated to prevent heat stroke or dehydration. (photo credit here)
For some great outdoor workouts ideas, check out these 10 Outdoor Workouts from Shape!