If you feel more recharged after a walk outdoors than a treadmill session, you aren’t imagining things. Exercising out in the open can help you clear your mind and reconnect with nature, leading to various mental and physical health benefits.
During Covid-19 gyms may be closed, but the great outdoors remains your playground. Pop in those earbuds and get your 10k steps on, because – good news! – outdoor exercise is strongly encouraged. Whether you walk, practice yoga, or go for more intense HIIT sessions, taking your training outside can help you stay motivated and feel better with positive effects that last long after your workout is over.
8 Ways Exercising Outdoors Improves Your Health
Lowers blood pressure
All exercise can reduce blood pressure. However, getting outdoors has been shown to lower blood pressure at a higher rate than exercising in a setting without natural vegetation.
Getting into nature can help you feel more grounded by allowing you to physically and mentally distance yourself from digital distractions and noise. Outdoor activities can help you refocus your energy so you can get back to your day feeling recharged.
Helps with insomnia
Stress and insomnia go hand in hand. Getting outside during the day can help you lower stress levels and boost your mood, both of which can make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep at night.
Is naturally social distanced
CHLI Exercise Physiologist, Scott Silveira, M.S., RCEP notes that outdoor exercise is a great way to practice social distancing while staying active. Being outdoors makes it easier to space yourself away from other people, reducing your risk of contracting COVID-19 or other illnesses.
While many people enjoy the benefits of paying for structured outdoor exercise classes, fitting in an outdoor workout doesn’t need to come at an extra cost. Lace-up your shoes to go for a walk or jog outdoors. You can also perform many movements outside that don’t require equipment, including planks, squats, push-ups, lunges, and jumping jacks.
Pets can workout too!
Gyms tend to frown on bringing your beloved pet to your workout. When you get outdoors, though, it’s easier to bring along your favorite furry friend. Take your dog for a jog, or bring him along to your outdoor exercise class to get both of you some much-needed sunshine and exercise.
Boost Vitamin D levels naturally
An estimated 40 percent of Americans have a vitamin D deficiency. Exercising outdoors can help you naturally get enough vitamin D to maintain bone, muscle, and cardiovascular health. Experts recommend getting 10 – 30 minutes of outdoor exposure every day.
Is more fun than an indoor workout
The great outdoors presents natural challenges, like hills and uneven terrain, that can help you get a better workout without even thinking about it. These challenges can make working out more enjoyable, leading you to pursue it more often. Silveira notes that the mental stimulation that comes from outdoor workouts can be more invigorating than what you experience indoors and encourage you to go back for more the next day.
Head Outside for Your Next Workout
Are you feeling ready to take on the world by moving your next sweat sesh outdoors? We are too! California Health & Longevity Institute Members get to enjoy a variety of mentally and physically stimulating outdoor exercise classes that allow for social distancing and socializing. Our January calendar includes fitness classes for all levels.
We would love to have you as a member of CHLI. Visit our membership page to learn more or to sign up today!