It’s already a well-known fact that exercise provides many benefits for your overall health and wellness. Regular exercise is known to help you prevent severe health illness, improve your sleep quality, boost your mood, reduce your stress levels, and more. To gain this plethora of benefits from exercising, you need to set aside at least 150 minutes of physical exercises every week.
However, not all people have the luxury of time and money to book regular gym sessions. Fortunately, you don’t really have to spend long hours in the gym to make sure you’re in good shape. Performing your exercises outdoors is just as effective as your gym sessions, and it can be more fun and appealing.
In fact, a simple change in location can exponentially increase the health benefits from the exercise you get from the gym or other indoor sources. Outdoor exercise, known as green exercise, is a combination of two healthy activities: body movement and going outdoors. The results you get from exercising outdoor may even be better. If you want to be in good shape while saving money on gym memberships, sweat it all out in the great outdoors.
Here are the six benefits you can get from exercising outdoors:
- The Healthy Sunlight Improves Your Mood
When you think of the outdoors, it’s always associated with the sun. While some people dreaded being under the sun for too long, moderate exposure to it actually has its own benefits for your health too. Exercising outdoor boosts your mental health way better than exercising indoors. Sunlight exposure gives off Vitamin D for your body, which is partially responsible for boosting your mood.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common among millions of people nowadays since more people are working indoors or would rather do their workouts inside. Thus, you may have noticed that people who rarely see the sun are easily moody or grumpy. But did you know that if your body lacks Vitamin D, you’re more likely to have a weaker immune system too? While you can get this vitamin from eating egg yolks or fishes, one of the best ways to get Vitamin D for free is through sunlight exposure.
So, you don’t need to sign yourself up for long marathons just to get the sunshine vitamin. Even a short walk around the park every morning or doing some gardening under the sun is already enough to give yourself enough vitamin that it needs. Then, you’ll notice how your moods are much better throughout the day.
- It’s Cost-Effective
As mentioned earlier, one of the best benefits you can get from exercising outdoors is that they’re free of charge! People often mention that one reason they don’t strive to get regular exercise is the expenses when signing up for gym memberships. Aside from that, trainers also find it costly to pay for expensive studio or gym rents during their group sessions.
Outdoor is the best alternative for both trainers and exercise enthusiasts. You can take a walk, jog, or bike your way on local parks or neighborhood streets that aren’t busy, or you can even take your physical exercises up into the woods or in the mountains. As for trainers, you can ask for a local permit and pay a small fee so you can conduct your group training in public parks, reducing your gym expenses big time.
- It’s More Challenging for Your Body
When working indoors or in gyms, physical challenges are only limited to the pieces of equipment available around you. Those working out in their own homes may soon experience boredom as they repetitively run on a treadmill while staring at the same wall. Plus, you’ll only be working on a flat indoor surface. Soon enough, some of you may lose your motivation to continue pursuing your indoor exercises due to the same plain workout setting.
However, deciding to move your exercise routine outdoors will surely make your exercise challenging and more engaging. With the ever-changing terrain that the outdoor offers, your body will be up for more challenges. You can get to hike on small hills, stairs in the park, or the rocky woods.
Not only that, you’ll get to meet other people who are also exercising outdoors. You’ll even get to witness beautiful nature sceneries with the sunrise or the sunset, depending on which time you go ahead with your outdoor exercise. You can choose different location settings every day, and it’ll make your workout experience more exciting and enjoyable. You can also be more driven to make your exercise session longer and harder.
- It Can Be A Team Experience
As you work out in the gym, you go there on your own most of the time. Perhaps some of your friends may not have the time and money to spend on themselves for gym sessions. When exercising outdoors, you can choose to do it yourself or invite your friends to join you. Exercising in groups will surely make your exercise a more fun experience. Thus, it’ll also encourage all of you to stay consistent with your outdoor workouts. So, invite your friends and together you can walk as many steps as you can.
- Free Access to Cleaner Air
You may think working outdoors is inconvenient, especially as you do your daily walks and runs in a busy street with the polluted air brought by vehicles. But did you know that outdoor air quality is way cleaner than the indoors? Working out in a gym and other indoor facilities, are areas that are most likely climate-controlled with air conditioners and more. This means you’re working out using a circulated air.
However, outdoor exercises will give you free and unlimited access to much fresher and cleaner air. You can move your exercise routines in the quiet green parks, woods, or mountains. You get to inhale a clean air fresh from the trees and plants around you. This way, you can protect yourself from the possible pollutants brought by the indoors’ air quality.
- An Opportunity to Connect with Mother Nature
The greatest benefit of exercising outdoors that you’ll never get from exercising elsewhere is that you’ll get to reconnect with nature. As you spend more time outdoors, you’ll feel more appreciative of every beautiful thing around you – the scenery, the people, the community, and even the birds and animals that you don’t often see every day. You also get to meet your neighbors, say hello to them, and then end your morning exercise at your favorite local café. The more you’re connected to the earth, the more grateful and grounded you’ll be.
Get Yourself Moving Outdoors!
With the numerous benefits mentioned above, this may be the sign to relocate your exercise routine. Don’t be scared about the possibility of outdoor activities, but make sure to consider the weather and traffic conditions before heading out. If you’re just starting, you can start with short walking sessions around your local parks or even walk your kids to the bus. The important thing is you get yourself moving outdoors.