The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
The weather is getting warmer and everyone is starting to spend more time outdoors, so why not take your workout outside as well? While the appeal of the gym is obvious because of the climate control, and convenience, especially in the winter, emerging results suggest there are benefits to exercising outdoors that cannot be replicated on a treadmill, recumbent bicycle, or a track. There are tons of things you can do outside to get a good workout in such as running, hiking, cycling, walking, playing a sport, swimming, and much more. Gather the family and invite your friends to join you outdoors for a great time. Here, you’ll find tips on how to create workout opportunities around your neighborhood, how to get focused and stay focused on your goals, and why training outdoors is far better for you than indoors. Tennis– serving and volleying benefits your arms, shoulders, and back muscles. Playing tennis also increases aerobic capacities. Beach volleyball- every serve and spike helps tone your arms, abs, legs, and chest. Sand workouts burn more calories than workouts performed on solid ground, and with all the jumping, diving, and running required, you’ll work up a sweat in no time. Swimming- basically a full body workout, it keeps your hear rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body. Cycling- powering up hills will help tighten and tone your legs, hips, and gluteus. Cycling also benefits your cardiovascular fitness. Softball- swinging and throwing works your chest, arms, legs, abs, shoulders, and back. Also it is a shared enjoyment with friends and family. Hiking- hiking a trail works out your body as much as it does your brain. Just one hour of trekking can burn well over 500 calories. Canoeing- the resistance of paddling through water helps tone arms and strengthens your back. This option allows you to enjoy the sun and water while getting a workout in. You’ll be having so much fun; you won’t even realize how hard you’re working. Golf- with every swing you work your arms, abs, back, and shoulders. Gardening– all the bending and twisting required to plant and weed works your core from every angle. Horseback Riding- gripping the saddle gives your inner thighs and gluteus an incredible workout. Frisbee- tossing the Frisbee gives chest, arms, shoulders, abs and legs a great workout. While Americans spend 93 percent of their time indoors, research shows fresh air, plants, trees, and natural outdoor elements have a positive effect on our health and well being. The greatest thing about doing activities outdoors, no matter where you are, is the ever-changing terrain. Also, the quality of outdoor air is much cleaner than indoor air by three times. That is 75 percent cleaner than indoor air. In recent studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and on psychological tests they scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression, and fatigue after they worked out outside. Our bodies need vitamin D, which comes from the sun. We do not produce it naturally. Just twenty minutes in the sun is enough exposure for the average adult. So lace up your shoes and go find a reason to be in the sun. Interested in receiving blog posts similar to this in your inbox every Thursday? Sign up for MDH Weekly!