Exercise is incredibly important for people of all ages, and we should strive for at least a little bit of movement every day. You may think that all exercise is the same, whether practiced indoors or outdoors, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here’s why outdoor activity is so great for our health:
It gives you a chance to connect with nature
Nature is excellent for our health! Spending time outside is the perfect way to calm down after a busy week. Being outdoors can help to reduce anxiety levels, boost creativity levels, and give people a sense of meaning. There’s also a correlation between time spent outdoors and happiness levels, so next time you’re feeling down, treat yourself to a walk outside – you’ll likely feel much better afterwards.
It’s easier to find a sense of community
A sense of belonging is essential to a healthy life, and exercising outdoors is the perfect way to spend time with others. Unlike at the gym, where people generally stick to themselves and focus on their routines, the outdoors can be a great way to meet people and to strengthen existing bonds. Why not ask a friend to go on a day hike, spend a day playing games with your family in a park, or take a romantic stroll on the beach with your partner?
It can help you during a detox
If you’re planning on doing a detox, exercising throughout is a good idea. Exercise cleanses the skin and promotes blood flow, and can help our organs run efficiently, which are some of the processes that detox activates.
As you’ll probably be consuming far fewer calories during your detox than you usually would, make sure you get plenty of rest and listen to your body; if you’re feeling faint or lightheaded, it’s probably time to stop. Instead of doing high impact exercise, try taking a leisurely walk in nature or cycling in a flat area.
It can help build your immune system
There are several studies to suggest that spending time connected to nature helps to boost our immune system, as well as lower our chances of diseases (including cardiovascular illnesses and hypertension). Rather than spending time in the noisy, polluted environments of city centers, try to choose peaceful, less polluted areas where the air is cleaner – it’ll be much better for your body.
Spending time outside helps you to get your daily vitamin D
Sunshine is the easiest way to ensure your body produces a healthy amount of vitamin D. You may still be able to get your vitamin D from being outdoors during colder seasons – planning time specifically for this is crucial, as the weather often forces people to spend more time indoors in the dark. Even on colder days, try to get a little outdoor exercise. This will depend on how severe winters are in your area, of course – if you live in a very cold city, you may have to take a supplement.
Regular exercise in any form will be beneficial to your health, but there’s something about exercising outside that just feels better. In one study, participants who exercised outdoors in a natural environment reported increased energy levels and decreased tension levels as compared to those who exercised indoors – and they were also more satisfied.
For the best results, try to avoid areas with high-density traffic and pollution. Spending as much time as possible around greenery will make your workout or walk much more enjoyable, and means you won’t be breathing in fumes or other harmful substances.
Author Bio: Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer based in New Zealand. Promoting healthy and green lifestyle is the main focus for much of her writing, as she believes an active lifestyle is vital to good health. Discover more of her articles on Cloe Writes.
Images by Pikwizard