Spring is right around the corner, and that means moving some of your workouts outdoors. Sunlight, fresh air, green trees – an outdoor workout sounds just like a vacation! And we promise that your treadmill won’t get offended if you ditch the incline and hit a natural hill every once in awhile.
Running, biking or even bringing your dumbbells to your deck does a body (and a mind) quite a bit of good. Here are four reasons to feel the breeze on your face and take your workout outdoors:
Feeling blue? Then go green. Just five minutes of exercise in a “green space” like a park can boost mood and self-esteem, according to UK researchers. Bonus: Go blue, too! The biggest mental health booster was found when the “green space” contained a lake or a river.
Swap your morning cup of Joe for a sunny sweat session. A study from the University of Rochester found that just 20 minutes outside can have the same pick-me-up effect as a cup of coffee. Put that $4 toward a new pair of running shoes!
A Free Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for bone health, cancer prevention, hormonal problems and a strong immune system. Now get this – exercising in the great outdoors is an easy way to get your Vitamin D … for free. Experts suggest 10 minutes of unprotected sun three times a week. Just make sure to apply that sunscreen at minute 11!
If you want to see physical results, consistency is the key. And an outdoor workout might just make that easier! A 2011 survey found that outdoor exercises “declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date” than those who only worked out inside.
Do you need any more reasons to get fresh air? Didn’t think so. Now, shut down the computer and go!