Benefits of Outdoor Exercising
With the weather warming up, it is a great time to take your exercise routine outdoors. Research shows that at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, most days of the week can provide health benefits. Take advantage of the nice weather and take your workout outside. Outdoor workouts can include a variety of different activities such as walking, running, biking, and yard work.
Outdoor exercise routines can provide you a variety of benefits, including:
- 1. Improved mental health. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can decrease stress, improve your mood, and increase self-confidence.
- A more consistent exercise routine. If you are a person that enjoys being outside you are more likely to stick to a workout routine that lets you enjoy nature. The outdoors is also always available, which can make it easier to fit into a busy schedule.
- Positive benefits of sunlight. Exposure to sun allows us to soak up vitamin D. Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium, which is important for strong, healthy bones.
- Get out of your workout rut. Exploring your town and having a change of scenery can distract you from how tired you feel, resulting in a longer workout.
- It’s FREE! With all of the running/bike trails around you can exercise outdoors and not have to worry about paying for a pricey gym membership.
As you transition to outdoor workouts it is important to keep a few things in mind. You should exercise early in the day or in the evening when temperatures are typically cooler. Make sure that you are wearing protective clothing and/or sunscreen to avoid sunburns. Wear technical clothing that helps to wick sweat away instead of cotton to help you to stay cooler. If you are exercising in the dark, make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing, and/or lights to make you more visible. It is also very important to make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink 8 ounces of water about 30 minutes prior to working out and about 8 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes while exercising.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. “Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm>.
“green exercise quickly ‘boosts mental health’. BBC News, 1 May 2010.