There are many benefits to exercising outdoors. Here is a list of the five I think are the most beneficial.
Improve Mood and Self-Esteem
As reported by the BBC, a 2010 study, published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, found that even just five minutes of exercise in the outdoors can improve a person’s mood and self-esteem. It was acknowledged that longer periods also showed positive effects, however, the initial five minutes were the most beneficial.
With your body having to adapt to the constantly changing terrain and weather conditions, it has to work harder and you’re much less likely to suffer from overtraining injuries. The high sensory stimulation (scenery, people, sounds, smells, etc…) also helps to distract you from how hard you may be working and you can therefore workout for longer periods unencumbered.
Boost of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin when exposed to direct sunlight, through our diet or supplements. Its role is to help maintain healthy bones and teeth, regulate insulin levels and supports the health of the immune system, brain, nervous system, lung function and cardiovascular system. 5-10 minutes of exposure 2-3 times per week is recommended.
It’s a fun way to meet new people in your neighbourhood or spend some time with friends. Let’s face it, we’re all busy and killing two birds with one stone makes it easier to prioritize it. Building strong, positive relationships is important for your mental health. Working out in groups will also help with keeping you accountable to your health goals. You are much more likely to show up if you told a friend you’d be there.
Money is often a barrier to regular exercise. Gym memberships can be expensive and they don’t always include access to fitness classes. Working out outside is free and accessible anytime with weather appropriate clothing. If there’s an outdoor class being offered, they’re generally pretty low cost options.
If there are any benefits you feel should be on this list that didn’t make it, feel free to add then in the comments.
If you’re interested in Outdoor Circuit Training and live in the Montreal area,
let me know and I’ll keep you posted with our next session.