Friday 24 June 2011
We all know exercise is good for us. What if exercising outdoors is even better? Turns out, that's the case! Recent studies have shown that there are specific, additional benefits to exercising outdoors. Exercising 'green' or in a natural outdoor setting promotes greater levels of revitalization and energy, while also allowing decreases in tension, anger, and depression.
Now that we're officially into summer, set your sights on getting outdoors to realize some of the additional benefits you gain simply by doing what you do now—outside.
Kids prefer to play outside—they know instinctively how much better it feels. It's too easy in the modern world to spend your time inside, but there’s much more going on outside than you imagine! Plus, it offers a greater positive impact on your mood. It really doesn't matter if you take a 10-minute to walk to the park or run a tough 10 miles after work, it matters that you get outside and experience the outdoors.
Exercise outdoors and you aren't tied to a specific gym or location. You benefit from the natural changes in terrain and weather conditions. You may even be more motivated to go outside when you see favourable weather patterns on the horizon.
For runners, you'll probably discover that dealing with running over natural terrain provides a more intense workout than your usual treadmill. And when you travel, you'll even be more likely to get out and exercise when you think about being in a new setting rather than an (often inadequate) hotel gym.
Another advantage of being outside: your mind will have to focus a bit more to take in the new and changing natural environment you're in. It won't just be looking at the same view during your whole workout.