Biophilia Fitness Is the Exercise Trend That's All About Taking Your Sweat Session Outside
In a post-pandemic world, the masses are taking their workout out of the gym. Introducing biophilia fitness, the exercise trend that combines wellness, accessibility, and sustainability.
2023’s “It” workout trend has more to do with your chosen environment than the actual exercise. Introducing biophilia fitness, the of-the-moment move that asks you to make the only natural choice and take your routine outside.
First defined by Harvard naturalist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, biophilia refers to humanity’s innate draw toward, and love for, nature. That want is in step with and conducive to some of the latest (and most viral) movement-related trends, including TikTok’s 'Hot Girl Walks’—that hashtag going strong at 652.5 million views—primal movement (1.6 billion views), the '75 Hard Challange' (935 million views), and community-oriented classes. The organic urge to take things outside was compounded by the realities of 2020 and 2021, years defined by the abundance of time spent indoors and away from others (and from nature). Now, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction.
“We find our clients are healthier and happier if they get more fresh air and sunshine (vitamin D) in nature, especially in the morning,” says Elizabeth Crutchfield of Homebodies NYC, a personal training service that has long prioritized al fresco exercise. “If they do it after work, it helps to destress.”
There are other benefits, too. “More variety and creativity have been added to outdoor workouts and people see that they can get just as fit with these modalities as they can in the gym,” says Crutchfield. “It’s also more cost-effective than a gym membership.”
Biophilia fitness also comes with an opportunity for connectivity born of immersion in nature. Time spent observing and communing with the natural world leads to increased mindfulness (or quiet, non-judgemental attention), making us more attentive to the planet, ourselves, and how our habitual actions impact the collective. Basically, time spent outside makes for a more sustainable population. Plus, according to research, even two hours in the forest comes with significant regulation of the nervous system.
For those who prefer their workout inside, honoring the environment (and your position as a biophiliac) is still possible. Using your own body weight may be the most sustainable route, but a new guard of Green HIIT equipment is aiming to offer the same at-home cardio you became accustomed to at the height of the pandemic, minus the electrical and material waste that comes with traditional machines.
Looking to jump into a biophilia fitness routine? The first part is easy: just step outside. “Start by walking and adding some stairs,” suggests Crutchfield. “You can also take some resistant equipment like bands.” The broad and mutable nature of the trend means that you can get the entire family in on the action, change things up daily, and embrace your new regimen no matter where in the world you find yourself.
So head out on a #hotgirlwalk, move your body intuitively, create your own HIIT circuit, or join that community class in your neighborhood park—as long as it’s outside, it’s biophilia fitness.
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