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Outdoor Workouts: The Benefits of Exercising in Nature
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Outdoor Workouts: The Benefits of Exercising in Nature

Published June 17, 2024

OUTDOOR WORKOUTS: THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISING IN NATURE

OUTDOOR WORKOUTS: THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISING IN NATURE

Did you know that if you take your workout alfresco, you could actually see even greater health benefits?

Implementing daily physical activity into your routine is already crucial to building and maintaining a healthy body and mind, but when you add the great outdoors, you might find you can push yourself even further and experience even more than you would inside the four walls of any gym.

Intrigued? We thought so. Let’s take a look at four key benefits of outdoor exercise.

1. STRONGER BONES AND A BRIGHTER MOOD

Let’s say you swap your gym membership for daily trail running at the local park. Not only will you treat yourself to a little fresh air, but you may also experience higher levels of vitamin D, improved bone density, lowered stress levels, and a brighter mood.

This is because when you participate in outdoor exercise, you absorb more sunlight.

One study confirms that regular sunlight exposure significantly increases vitamin D levels, which in turn, can enhance bone health and mental well-being.

Being in nature is also a natural mood booster because it:  

  • Increases serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).

  • Reduces cortisol (a stress-related hormone).

2. BETTER MEMORY AND CONCENTRATION

Here’s something you might not have pegged: being exposed to cold weather can actually fine-tune your thinking.

In fact, colder conditions have been shown to increase levels of norepinephrine, a chemical in the brain that helps you zero in on tasks and remember details better.

With your mental clarity a bit sharper, you could see a difference in your ability to tackle projects at work and remain productive throughout the day.

And that’s not all cold weather is good for:

  • You may be able to fend off more illnesses – Outdoor activity in lower temperatures can increase your level of white blood cells, which fortify your body against the flu, colds, and other unwelcome guests. 

  • You can burn extra fat with the same workout – This is simply because your body has to use more calories to stay warm.

  • You can enhance your recovery with better sleep – A cold room can help you nod off quicker. And, while you sleep, cooler temperatures can help your body produce chemicals that are important for maintaining healthy skin, lowering stress, and aiding digestion.

Don’t worry—you don’t need to cold plunge yourself into an ice bath every day to take advantage of these benefits. Just a little brisk air can go a long way. However, if this is something you're interested in, you might want to learn more about the benefits of cold plunge therapy, which can further enhance your resilience to cold and improve overall wellness.

3. A NATURALLY FLOURISHING SOCIAL LIFE

Being in nature also has the potential to enhance your social life—especially if you participate in group outdoor exercise like a walking club, a hiking club, or an outdoor fitness class. You might even feel like social barriers melt away when you’re exercising outdoors with a group. Here’s why:

  • Group physical activity enhances the production of endorphins. These chemicals in your brain are natural painkillers and mood elevators.

  • You become part of a collective adventure; supporting each other, sharing triumphs, and ingesting the same fresh air.

  • When the natural world's tranquility is combined with the communal aspect of exercising outdoors, social bonds can naturally strengthen.

Pretty cool, right?

4. ENHANCED BRAIN AND BODY FUNCTION

You know those 70-somethings who are still killing it at the park? The ones who can go at it with more zeal than some 20-year-olds have ever mustered in their lives? Have you ever wondered where that seemingly endless energy comes from?

Well, that’s the power of combining exercise with time in nature on a regular basis. In fact:

  • Exposure to green space significantly reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure, keeping you healthy as you age.

  • The beautiful scenery of nature can provide a welcome distraction while you work out and make your fitness routine feel less intensive so you go harder without trying.

Now it’s just a matter of finding the kind of outdoor activity you love.

HOW YOU CAN START REAPING THE INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR EXERCISE TODAY

Fortunately, you’re not strapped for choices when it comes to the types of outdoor exercises you can do. Here are some of the most popular outdoor workouts to try:

  • Trail running

  • Stand-up paddleboarding

  • Swimming (in pools or lakes)

  • Cycling

  • Inline or roller-skating

  • Hiking

  • Outdoor sports, like tennis, soccer, basketball, or beach volleyball

  • Snowboarding

  • Skiing

  • Canoeing

  • Kayaking

Give a few a go to find your fit—and speaking of fit, remember to suit up with high-quality gym outfits to truly make the most of your outdoor exercise.

GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT OUTDOOR ADVENTURE WITH P.E NATION

When you’re part of P.E Nation, you know a thing or two about getting the most out of your adventures. For example, understanding the benefits of wearing compression can elevate your performance, a topic we explore in detail in the linked article for you to explore.

Make sure you’re equipped for whatever the great outdoors has in store for you with P.E Nation’s activewear collection, feauting our various women’s leggings and workout tops. Our sustainable, breathable, and resilient gear is designed for function and fashion—so you can conquer any challenge and look good doing it.

Shop our collection today to get started.

 

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