Exercise benefits our body and mind in many ways. It maintains our cardiovascular health, keeps weight under control and lowers stress. Your twice weekly visit to the gym or your weekly dance class is extremely beneficial. But did you know that if you exercise outdoors you can increase the benefits of exercise tenfold? Exercising in the great outdoors has benefits that simply cannot be replicated in a gym or indoors environment. If you wish to develop an exercise program which really encompasses mind, body and spirit read on for inspiration.
Exercising outdoors offers many options and often they don’t feel like exercise! For example cycling is a fantastic form of exercise, a convenient form of transport and an eco way to live, as cycling doesn’t leave a carbon footprint. more info can be found here on the type of bike which would be most suitable for you and your family. Even weeding the garden is a form of exercise and popping round to the local shops.
Here are some more benefits to exercising outdoors.
Walking, jogging, running, wild swimming and gardening are all free! There may be minimal costs related to clothing and equipment and you may enjoy joining a group to exercise within which may incur a small cost, but it will still be cheaper than joining a gym. You will need to be committed in order to stick to your exercise goals, but if you are strong willed, exercising outdoors is a great money saving option.
Changing environmental factors
Exercising outdoors allows you to experience different terrains and different weather conditions. Running against the wind will provide more resistance, which challenges the cardiovascular system. Variation to your routine also lowers the chance of injury caused by repeating the same movement over and over again.
Many people in the western world are deficient in vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches and high blood pressure amongst other symptoms. Vitamin D can be made by the body when it is exposed to sunlight. Exercising and spending the majority of our lives indoors means that we don’t spend enough time in sunlight, the consequence of which is low vitamin D levels. Exercising in the great outdoors ensures you get your daily dose!
Research has shown that exercising in the outdoors leaves a person feeling much more refreshed and revitalised compared with exercising indoors. Daylight is a great mood enhancer and combined with the endorphins released during exercise, you really do get a double dose of the feel good factor! Exercising outdoors is great for socialising too. You are likely to meet like minded people when you are out and about which is fantastic for your mental health. You will also become much more aware of the changing seasons and feel better connected with the world.
Although any form of exercise is good for you it’s worth incorporating a few activities a week into your schedule, which you can complete outdoors.