Is the gym the usual spot for exercise? You could benefit from a change of scenery and one with a lot of it: the great outdoors. If you need a boost to move the workout outdoors, there's a lot of reasons.
Evidence shows that outdoor exercise offers health advantages that cannot be duplicated indoors. And a key one is a stronger boost to positive feelings.
One study, for example, showed that outdoor workouts can improve your mood and make you feel more energetic and revitalized than indoor workouts. Another study found that as little as five minutes of outdoor activity can improve self-esteem, particularly if you're close to greenery or water.
No membership fees
The outdoors belongs to all of us. You don't need any special equipment-outdoors is available wherever you are, just outside your house.
A tougher exercise
When you're active outdoors-whether you're running on the beach or climbing up a mountain-your body is experiencing a continuously evolving environment. To keep the movement at a steady rate, you need to adjust to all the minute shifts in your environment (such as small inclines, bumps, or barriers you will need to avoid), which ensures that your body operates harder than if you were running on a treadmill or using a stair machine.
A daily dose of D
Outdoor workout is a way to get your vitamin D from the sun. This is particularly important if you are overweight, as evidence shows that people who are overweight are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be more hazardous than outdoor air in major cities and urban areas.
Exercise for your mind
When you workout outdoors, the mind is conscious of the changing terrain. Whether you're running the hills, the sand on the beach, or a winding road, your mind has to function differently than it does on the flat gym floor.
And evidence shows that the influence of exercise on the mind appears to support a favorable direction. Several studies, including one published in Environmental Science and Technology, show that outdoor activity can improve mental wellbeing more than the same kind of indoor exercise.
When exercising outdoors, remember to always wear SPF. You also need a good pair of running or walking shoes to protect your entire body from injury. And lastly, don't forget to drink water. 4 to 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes you're outside should keep you well hydrated.