Re-wild yourself: The benefits of exercising in the great outdoors

Most people’s new year to-do lists involve more exercise, but sweating it out in the gym doesn’t always feel that appealing. Brand to trust Wildfitness offers a fun alternative to your average workout – tapping into your inner primal energy to build strength and resilience.

Wildfitness are kicking off the year with a series of jams in London, North and South of the river in Battersea and Hampstead. These 90 minute sessions give a taster of their signature philosophy – using playful games and natural movements to get you outside and get your body moving.

Always up for something new, the Positive Luxury team popped along to a jam in Hampstead Heath at the weekend to try it for ourselves. Here’s what we found…

 

Wildfitness

Wildfitness

Switch off and have fun with nature

Our Wildfitness Jam started by looking up to the sky – lifting our heads up and dropping them to our chests – a move described by our coach Uzu to be “a privilege”. Today we all spend so much time hunched over screens that to look up to the clouds and treetops had an instant effect on us all.

Later on, fallen trees found on Hampstead Heath became natural climbing frames in an activity that saw us jumping over and running between obstacles. This felt more like reliving childhood play rather than hard-core fitness, yet Uzu assured us that by mixing up our movements we had worked more muscles than simply running on a treadmill. 

Being outdoors encouraged us to use our bodies and minds in ways that can’t be achieved inside the walls of a gym. The unpredictability of the ground beneath feet and hands challenges the body’s reactions, while the surrounding scenes and scents of nature engaged the senses.

Wildfitness jam, London

Wildfitness jam, London

Free your body and mind

The Wildfitness approach aims to re-educate the body through movements that have been fundamental throughout human evolution, but lost to many of us due to the everyday rigours of modern life.

In our session, playful exercises pushed us to reconnect with these primal tendencies, encouraging us to move our body in new ways and use muscles we didn’t know we had. We practised different crawls based on various animals – which worked our core muscles better than conventional crunches. (The results of which were definitely felt the next day!)

The activities are intended to do more than exercise the body. Warm-up games challenged our co-ordination and reactions, requiring us to either follow or avoid our partner. Keeping us on our toes and our responses in check – tapping into the competitive nature of the Positive Luxury team!

Wildfitness jam, London

Wildfitness jam, London

Boost your health

Any kind of exercise is obviously good for your health (if done correctly of course), but did you know that getting active outdoors has hidden results?

For a start the cold will help you burn more calories – it may take longer to get your heart rate up, but you’ll really feel the benefit when you do. Getting outside is also the best way to expose yourself to a little sunlight (even in the depths of London’s winter), boosting your body’s Vitamin D levels to promote healthy bones and improve metabolic rates.

In addition, links have been found between getting outdoors and reducing stress. Increasing the fresh air and oxygen into your body triggers the release of mood-boosting serotonin, leaving you feeling both happier and healthier.

Positive Luxury trying out a Wildfitness jam

Positive Luxury trying out a Wildfitness jam

The end of the session left us feeling completely rebooted – although a little out-of-breath from both the running and the laughter. We’re already looking forward to the next jam, with some high-five squats in the office to keep us going in the meantime!

Visit Wildfitness’ brand page to find out about more of their offerings, including their retreats to Zanzibar, Crete, and the Scottish Highlands. 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this, you may want to read Feeding Mind, Body and Soul in 2017 or Top 6 Healthy Sugar Alternatives

Sophie Corfan