Spring is sprung and for many that means taking steps to enjoy more outdoor exercise. The weather is perfect, and it’s refreshing after so many months stuck inside, but is this the only reason that people should enjoy working out outside?
According to many experts, outdoor exercise may actually be better for you, and more effective than the usual inside grind at the gym. Granted, those weight machines can’t be hauled outside every time someone wants to lift some weights, but the workouts that are portable should be taken into the fresh air.
Better for the mind
In 2011, the Environmental Science & Technology journal published a study that found that outdoor energy is extremely beneficial to the overall mood and mental health of those that do it. When outside and inside exercisers were compared, scientists found that those who got exercise outside noticed more benefits when it came to tension and depression. They also noticed more feelings of energy and calm, as well as greater overall satisfaction from their workout.
In short, the exercisers enjoyed their workout more when they got outside. Part of this is because the scenery changes make it less likely that you’ll become bored. Nature, even the back yard, offers many different sights and sounds to enjoy that calms the mind.
Better for the body
Barring allergies getting outside to enjoy a workout can help to get fresh air. This means more oxygen into the body and a stronger immune system. As an added plus, workouts done outside allow for more oxygen flow, and that has been shown to boost metabolism. Not only that, but according to an article in the WPS Health Newsletter, working out outside can help to improve capacity of the lungs.
Going for a run, walk or playing a game of softball is also a fantastic way to make sure that the body gets enough of the essential vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to have all kinds of health benefits, including helping with weight loss. According to one study, about 41 percent of participants had a deficiency in this essential. Leave an arm, the face or a leg without sun block if you’ll be out for about an hour and boost the level of vitamin D in your system; no supplement required.
Health care professionals often recommend that those who are getting over a long illness or a surgery should begin light exercise like walking, to help them recuperate more quickly. There is new evidence that doing that same exercise outside can be much more effective when done outside. Natural light has a healing effect on the body, and spending time outside can help to shorten the length of a hospital stay, ease pain, and help reduce the mortality of those that have suffered from myocardial infarction.
That being said; it’s essential to make sure that you are able to start a light exercise program if you are healing from an illness or surgery before you get started. For the rest of the world; no matter if you’re just starting a workout program, or you are simply looking for something different, taking it outside might be just what you need to feel better, look better, and enjoy your workout more.