Exercise is essential for our bodies. However, choosing where you exercise can have even more of an impact on your health.
Working out in nature has profound benefits for your mental and physical health.
The most popular one is the increase in vitamin D that we receive from the sun. Vitamin D boosts your immune system, helps fight depression, promotes bone growth and prevents osteoporosis. It’s a very important vitamin to have.
The outdoor terrain also brings benefits to our physical and mental health. It contributes to a harder workout, because your body is constantly adapting to the surrounding environment. Your mind is constantly adapting as well! “When you exercise outdoors, your mind is aware of the changing terrain. Whether you use the hills, the sand on a beach, or a winding path, your mind has to focus differently than it would on a flat gym floor,” notes Tina Vindum, a faculty member of the American Council on Exercise.
Nature greatly improves our mental health. “Simply being outside in nature can help de-stress us, since it has been shown to lower salivary cortisol, one of the biomarkers of stress,” says Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, M.d.. Research suggests that five minutes in nature allows our brain to start thinking differently and become more relaxed.
It also saves you time and money! There’s no driving to the gym, waiting for certain equipment to free up, or paying membership fees. All you have to do is step out your back door! You can do body weight exercises in your back yard or go for a walk around your neighborhood.
Combine fresh air, sunshine, and movement to your daily self-care routine and instantly reap the benefits!