Four Reasons to Take Your Workout Outdoors
As temperatures rise and summer approaches, it's natural to want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Luckily, there's one activity you can easily transition into nature – your workout. Next time you lace up your sneakers, consider heading outside to get the most out of your fitness routine.
Exercising outside even has hidden health benefits. Here are four reasons you should head outdoors when the weather allows:
- You'll feel happier
It's a scientific fact that being in nature can boost your mood and help fight depression. Researchers found that exercising outside can be twice as beneficial for your mental health as going to the gym. Being outdoors will also raise your levels of vitamin D. In addition to improving your heart health and promoting healthy bone growth, vitamin D can make you feel happier by increasing your brain's production of serotonin – an essential neurotransmitter that helps fight off depression.
- You'll save money
Taking your fitness routine outside can save your wallet some unnecessary pain. Instead of spending money on an expensive gym membership or dropping hundreds on a personal trainer, head outdoors and use nature as your personal fitness center. The best part is your workout is free! Head to the woods and go on a hike. Stop by your local school and run on the track. Pop in your neighborhood swim center to do a few laps in the outdoor pool. Whichever you prefer, nature makes fitness affordable and accessible for everyone.
- You'll burn more calories
Moving outdoors offers more diverse motions than you'll experience on a traditional cardio machine. You'll easily burn more calories due to the different terrain and inclines you're bound to encounter. Uneven terrains force you to work out a wider variety of muscles so you avoid unnecessary stress to the same few muscles. As a result, you'll be less likely to get injured. Hiking, running or walking outside also allows you to go downhill – a movement that usually can't be performed on a standard fitness machine.
- You'll be healthier
In addition to boosting your mood, moving your fitness regime outside is good for your overall health. Outdoor fitness allows you to avoid nasty germs lurking in the gym. Gyms are often breeding grounds for bacteria. Cold, flu and even staph bacteria live on mats, weights, cardio machines and in locker rooms. Exposure to fresh air will do wonders for your body. Studies have shown that fresh air can boost your immune system, relieve stress and elevate your energy levels.
Looking for fun ways to take your fitness routine outside? Check out our favorite outdoor workouts so you can get the most out of your sweat session.