Grab that sunscreen because we’re taking our workouts outside! But no, really, grab that sunscreen. Oh, and plenty of water. We love having you at our clubs, but it’s summer time, so we encourage you to switch it up a bit with us, especially with our HWX Summer Series underway across the city through the rest of July and August. The best part? It’s free and open to all, so grab a friend and join us to pile on the benefits of working out, doing it with others, and doing it outside. 

Here are five reasons to do Yoga or HIIT with grass between your toes and catch a Zumba class along the Charles River with us:

Boost your serotonin levels 
Working out outside puts you in direct sunlight. Studies have shown that the serotonin levels in your brain get a boost on bright and sunny days. Serotonin is the body’s natural mood stabilizer and can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

And your immune system 
According to the National Institutes of Health, five to 30 minutes in the sun twice a week will keep your vitamin D tank topped off, which is crucial to both bone health and immune system function. Going outside also exposes you to phytoncides, or airborne plant chemicals. Some studies suggest they can improve your body’s immune response by 50% or more, so breathe deep while soaking up those rays. 

Reduce stress 
Exercise already relieves stress with the natural release of norepinephrine, which reverses the damage stress does to your brain. You can layer on that stress relief when you take your exercise outdoors. In a study that examined forest bathing, researchers found that even spending a short period of time outdoors can reduce cortisol levels, which is the chemical that causes stress. 

Shorten your workout 
Ok. Not really, but taking your workout outside will make it seem quicker because, according to research, you’ll enjoy it more. One study found that people who exercised outdoors perceived the exercise as less strenuous, which allowed them to workout harder increasing their amount of physical activity and motivation. 

You’re getting outside 
And that in itself is important, especially when you consider that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of that is spent in buildings and the other 6% in automobiles, which leaves only 7% for the great outdoors.  

So get outside when you can and come do it with us this summer! Here’s the HWX Summer Series schedule.