Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

Benefits of Outdoor Exercise: 5 Reasons To Ditch the Gym

Here are some benefits to exercising in the outdoors.

Date:   3/23/2021 4:20:48 AM   ( 47 d ) ... viewed 18 times

In the last decade, natural living has taken society by storm. From organic food to holistic healthcare, people are molding their lifestyles to a model of sustainable wellness. In an era of green energy and products, it’s no surprise exercise enthusiasts are raving about green fitness, a practice that essentially involves taking your workouts to the great outdoors. Leaving the gym behind to sweat under the sun offers several physical, emotional and practical benefits. Here are five reasons to move your exercise routine outside.

1. Enhance Your Mood

Exercise is scientifically proven to boost mental and emotional health, but doing it outdoors only enhances these effects. Sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which positively affects your mood. Even just a few minutes of low-impact activity can do the trick. If you’re feeling sluggish after a night of poor sleep, step out onto your deck for a quick YouTube yoga routine or take your dog for a long walk around the neighborhood and gain the energy you need to get through the rest of your day.

2. Improve Your Self-esteem

Whether you’re focused on gaining strength and stamina or getting your body bathing suit-ready for a summer Caribbean cruise, regular exercise is a major contributor to greater self-esteem. Choose an activity such as jogging, cycling, paddle boarding or swimming and get moving. Don't overdo it! Moderate-intensity movements are even more effective than high-intensity workouts for making you feel good about yourself. Do a little bit each day and you’ll be feeling unstoppable before you know it.

3. Save Money on Fitness

Gyms are expensive and your membership is wasted if you aren’t able to go regularly. Home exercise is an option, but you may not have the space you need to maximize your movements. Local parks, hiking trails, bicycling paths and the sidewalks in your neighborhood offer the space for getting fit and you’ve already paid for them with your tax dollars. If group fitness is your thing, look for programs through your local community or recreation centers that offer free or low-cost outdoor yoga classes, or join a running club on social media. If you have the personal motivation and drive to work out on your own, you can reach your fitness goals without spending all your hard-earned cash on gyms and trainers.

4. Conserve Time

One of the most common barriers to exercise that people express is a lack of time. Lots of factors contribute to the commitment that goes into a gym routine. You must balance work, school and family obligations. You have to consider peak times when the gym is crowded and your desired equipment may not be available. Transportation and traffic may be impositions in your city. Take advantage of the space right outside your door instead. Grassy yards, hills, park benches and playgrounds offer ample equipment for effective exercise. Roll the minutes you save into your workout or save them for more important things.

5. Involve Your Family

Research shows that outdoor exercise is better than working out indoors. There is scientific evidence proving a correlation between outside activity and increased energy as well as decreased anxiety. So, why leave the kids at home with an iPad and a babysitter? Take them with you and turn your workout routine into a fun family challenge. Find an outdoor obstacle course near you and compete for the best time. Go for a family bike ride or a fun nature hike. Teach your kids that exercise is fun as well as healthy and give them a head start on their own fitness goals as they grow up.

 

Don’t be intimidated by an outdoor workout. You don’t need to be a fitness fanatic to start noticing positive results right away. Whether it’s a short walk around the corner or a 5K run around the lake, take the gift of a gorgeous day to do something awesome for yourself.

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