Liv Nomadic

Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

As you are all probably aware, studies have shown that exercising regularly (when done safely) can lead to some impressive benefits. Some of these benefits include; better sleep, more energy, better mobility, and helping to reduce the risks associated with certain medical conditions. 

What you may not be aware of is no two types of exercise or workouts are exactly alike. In fact it is proven that some forms of exercise are better than others depending on what you expect to get out of it. 

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to persuade you into buying the latest revolutionary fat burning workout equipment or spending half a fortune on a good personal trainer and a gym membership. I simply want to introduce to you some benefits associated with being active outside of the concrete jungle and venturing out into nature. 

In this article I will go over some of the benefits of exercising outdoors and how frequently heading outside can have a positive impact on your daily life. 

Challenges your Mind, Body and Soul

As we all know, all physical exercise challenges your body but did you know that exercising outdoors can actually workout your mind as well? 

Exercising outdoors requires you to be very attentive to the consistent changing landscape to complete your workout. Let’s compare a hike to an inclined walk on a treadmill. The treadmill will definitely make you break into a sweat, but the consistent belt will allow you to turn your brain into an auto pilot. 

In comparison, when hiking you need to make sure your mind remains alert and focused on the ever changing conditions. If you decide to turn your mind on autopilot mode as you would on a treadmill, you may find yourself quickly stumbling on a tree root or a rock. 

This constant engagement and consistent change of environment allows you to stay alert and will expose your body to new difficult challenges than if you exclusively used a treadmill.

Natural Antidepressant 

Outdoor exercise can help you battle with your seasonal depression, anxiety and excessive screen exposure. The vitamin D found in sunlight has been shown to increase levels of the feel good hormones such as serotonin. 

To further this, a breath of fresh air has been known to also help increase the production of endorphins which can further boost your mood. 

In today’s world I find myself always becoming somehow trapped looking at a screen. Even at the gym there are tons of screens positioned to help you stay entertained during your workout. I find I really appreciate the ability to be disconnected to screens when going for a hike and I find it also helps better my mood or anxieties.

Workouts Tend To Be Longer and More Effective

Studies have shown that working out outdoors can be more effective and are often longer in duration. 

When exercising outside, you will find yourself becoming distracted by all your surroundings and will forget you are actually “working out”. This helps your workouts become more effective and longer. 

When working out in the gym I usually find myself spending about an hour getting through my full workout. In contrast when hiking, you don’t have the luxury of stopping whenever you want to and also since it doesn’t feel like a chore I find that I can easily spend 3 hours before I feel finished with the workout. 

Outdoor Exercise is More Accessible

If you’re anything like me you will find that going daily to a conventional gym can become very expensive very quickly and can also be inconvenient (especially in the winter). 

I often find that the inconvenience of driving out to a gym makes it very difficult for me to work up the motivation to go consistently. The good news is exercise doesn’t have to be non accessible. Simply going for a walk around the block or playing soccer, basketball or tennis in the local park can be a very cost effective, accessible way to get a really good workout. 

Great Bond Time with Friends and Family

Outdoor exercise can be a fantastic way to bond with family and friends. Being active outdoors not only provides a fun and unique activity for everyone to participate in, but also provides a chance to challenge each other and work towards a common goal, such as finishing a hike or completing a fitness challenge. 

I come from a very competitive family so we always enjoy going out and doing our best to try to beat each other in games like soccer, basketball and spike ball.

Whether it’s about seeking new competition, needing a bit of therapy or looking for a more accessible challenging workout, spending time outdoors proves to be a good option. I highly encourage you to get outside enjoy some nature and try it out for yourself

Fun Outdoor Games

                   

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