The Health Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
Spring has finally arrived and with it comes the promise of more sunshine and warmer weather! After being trapped indoors for so many months, many of us can’t wait to break outside and enjoy ourselves in the sunshine. Spring means the return of outdoor activities we love, like hiking, kayaking, gardening, casual strolls in the park, and even alfresco dining! However, for some reason, many people continue to keep their workouts confined inside even when the weather gets warmer. The benefits of exercising outdoors could have you reconsidering where you decide to work up a sweat!
Outside Exercise Increases Energy
Whether it’s because of the sun or the scenery, outdoor exercisers benefit from an increased level of energy over their indoor counterparts. In a study of over 800 participants, outdoor exercise was associated not only with increased energy and revitalization but also decreased feelings of confusion, anger, depression, and tension when compared with those exercising indoors.
How does this help you workout? Well, more energy allows you to push yourself harder and recover more quickly in between sets. Plus, those exercising outside also reported enjoying their workouts more. They even said they were more likely to continue their workouts than those participants who were closed up inside. So not only will you perform better, you’ll also feel better about yourself.
Outdoor Green Spaces Improve Mood
It’s been well documented that exercise improves mood. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins and adrenaline, making you feel happy and even euphoric. An even greater positive increase in mood one of the benefits of exercising outdoors. A study in 2008 polled nearly 2,000 active participants and discovered that outdoor physical activity had 50% greater positive effect on mental health than those going to the gym. Basically, exercising outside intensifies the already-good feeling you get when you workout. The researchers in this study also found that physical activity in outside green spaces lowered stress.
Another study, done in 2010, corroborated these reports. It found that even just five minutes of exercise in a green space can significantly improve mood and self-esteem. The best benefits of exercising outdoors were seen in spaces that contained not only the color green but also blue. A greater boost happened in green spaces with a clear blue sky or green spaces that also contained a body of water like a lake or river.
Healthy Sun Exposure is Good for You
In addition to the mental benefits of exercising outdoors, exposure to sunlight has a crucial effect on our bodies, both physically and chemically. The sun’s contact on our skin causes our bodies to produce vitamin D3, which is essential to bone health and metabolic function. Of course, it’s important to avoid overexposure to UV rays. Too much unprotected exposure can increase your risk of developing skin cancer, which is why it’s important to keep a healthy balance.
In addition to producing vitamin D3, sunlight also stimulates the release of a brain chemical known as serotonin. This chemical improves mood while also keeping you calm and focused, meaning you can stay on track and crush your workout. Often, lack of natural light leads to low serotonin levels. That’s the reason why people often feel tired, groggy, and depressed in the winter. When the spring finally rolls around, exercising outside in the sun can really be helpful in regulating proper chemical release in your brain.
Lastly, one of the most underrated benefits of exercising outdoors is the change of environment. When exercise turns monotonous, people get bored. Workouts become less enjoyable, and, ultimately, they stop working out. It takes a lot of discipline to push through that cycle. When you exercise outdoors, the environment is a little bit different every day. Even if you workout in the same place, the weather and the surroundings will never be identical to the day before, meaning your workouts will never be exactly the same!
Enjoy the Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
Exercising outdoors can have amazing benefits for both your body and your mind. However, if you’re serious about physical fitness, a walk in the park or an afternoon spent pulling weeds isn’t going to cut it. You want to be able to hit it just as hard outside as you do in the gym. For those that want to exercise outdoors without sacrificing the quality of their workout, do yourself a favor and pre-order the VDip Power Station.
With the VDip, you can design incredible fat-blasting circuit routines without the need of an entire gym’s worth of equipment. With its innovative design, you can easily bring the VDip to the park or on the boardwalk and give your upper body a killer workout while enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. For some workout inspiration, check out our gallery and see all the ways you can use your VDip!