Holistic Health Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
There is no debate that consistent exercise improves our overall health, but these benefits can be amplified if you perform these same exercises outside.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
Any form of exercise is better than none at all, but here are some bonus benefits of being active outdoors:
Recover in the Fresh Air
Animals and trees experience a beautiful coexistence of oxygen and carbon dioxide production and consumption, so why not use it to our advantage and go outside for some “fresh air” when we exercise? Every cell in our body requires oxygen to function, so when we exercise outside, we can be close to the trees that create this essential molecule for us, allowing us to recover faster and perform at our best.
Admire the Beauty of Nature
Humans spend an increasing amount of time immersed in technology, media, and chaos, but taking time to disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself in nature can help you feel more grounded and at peace. As we admire the beauty of nature our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, lowering our stress, and making us feel more relaxed – this can take your “post-workout high” to another level!
Be Challenged by the Environmental Conditions
When exercising outdoors, you have no control over your external environment, including temperature, wind, and rain. Whether it is hot or cold, or sunny or stormy, exercising outdoors provides the bonus mental challenge of adapting to your conditions and moving forward accordingly. Exercising in a challenging environment will work your body more rigorously than indoors, allowing you to build more strength that can carry you through your daily life more easily.
Get Your Daily Vitamin D
When our skin is exposed to sunlight, a reaction occurs that transforms a precursor molecule into functional vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for bone health. While there are dietary forms of vitamin D, many of us depend on sunlight to get our daily dose, so strengthen your bones and muscles at the same time by exercising outdoors – just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Keep The Change $
Although gyms offer a variety of equipment that makes it easy to structure workouts and target muscle groups, there is one major drawback: a gym membership costs anywhere from $10 to over $100 a month – yikes! Another incredible benefit of exercising outside is that it is free for anyone to use, so elect for an outdoor workout to save those few extra dollars a month.
Surrounding yourself with nature as you exercise is a serene experience, allowing ourselves to challenge our bodies as we push our limits while simultaneously embracing the mood-boosting effects of being outside. If you’re looking to spice up your workout routine and improve your overall health, why not attempt an outdoor exercise next time? For more ideas to amplify your fitness, head to Outrun Gravity for tips from our coaches.