5 Reasons to Exercise Outdoors In Green Spaces

Doing exercises in a perfect environment matters a lot.

Exercise Outdoors: Health reports reveal that negative emotions such as sadness, uncertainty, and stress have increased in the last 10 years, reaching a record high in 2017. Coinciding with this is the much higher number of obesity cases reported among young individuals.

Studies show that the top variables behind this phenomenon are:

  • Lack of work-life balance
  • Ferociously competitive work settings
  • High-cost of living
  • A very uncertain future

All these components can place tremendous pressure on one’s quality of life. It’s no wonder that performing proper self-care has emerged as essential advocacy for many. Under this self-care initiative, one of the vital components is regular exercise.

When it comes to exercise, there are different approaches one can take. The most convenient is is to sign up for a membership at a gym and gain access to a variety of fitness equipment and professional personal training. Another is to create a home gym. 

Meanwhile, others take the opportunity to head outdoors and experience nature while they work out.

Why Exercising Outdoors is Highly Beneficial for Health and Wellness

Out of the three approaches, wellness experts recommend heading out to open and green spaces for exercise the most, for the following excellent reasons:

1. It’s more fun

There are more things of amusement to see when you’re exercising outdoors. You can see the changes in the season, the sprouting of new blooms, wildlife in their natural habitat, and so much more. 

These are visual treats that never fail to bring more enjoyment as you’re getting your sweat on. At the same time, they can create a new sense of purpose in your life. Typically, when people spend time in nature, they develop this sense of responsibility in protecting it, and it reinvigorates their body and soul.

2. It can make working out less tiring

Hiking and running are two of the best exercises done in green outdoor spaces. Most people say that despite the challenge of tackling different types of terrain, these activities do not feel as exhausting as being on a stairclimber for 30 minutes in the gym.

In fact, even if they can hear themselves panting while hiking, there’s still that sense of relaxation in the activity because of the natural surroundings. There’s nothing like seeing a park vibrant with lush green bushes and colorful flowers, or a clear blue ocean, to instantly refresh the body when you’re on a nature run.

3. It can also make you work harder

One of the major effects of taking physically demanding activities outdoors is it creates more variations in your movements. At the gym, you typically only go about the same motions for a set amount of time before making a shift. 

In nature, the paths change rather frequently. You can go from a paved and straight path to a sandy and shifting surface, to a pebbly one, all in a single minute. This will prompt you to work out harder because you need to adjust your range of movements and bring even more energy.

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4. It can make you happier

Taking your workout to green spaces can significantly impact your mood. The scent of trees, flowers and other types of vegetation have been proven effective in boosting the natural killer cells that improve the immune system and make the mind and body resistant to stress.

In Japan, trips to the forest are even highly recommended for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. The walkthrough green surroundings can change a dour disposition into a hopeful and cheery one.

5. It creates that much-needed “break”

Among the leading benefits of nature-related activities is that it takes you out of your usual toxic environment and feeds your body with unpolluted, wholesome goodness. Truly, nothing can compare to nature’s illumination and ventilation. 

The sun is a reliable natural antidepressant, and vitamin D from its rays can boost weight loss. Meanwhile, the air that circulates in nature is fresher. It doesn’t have much fine dust, and it has low levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

When you work out in nature, there are more benefits to your physical and mental health.

How to Make Working Out in Natural Surroundings Easier

All the benefits cited above should be enough to prompt you to make working out in green outdoor spaces a regular commitment. However, to help you get started on your wellness initiative, here are some tips to follow:

  • Reserve your weekends for it.

Heading to green spaces for exercise is not always easy, especially if you live in a highly urbanized location. Therefore, reserving your weekends for this activity is the practical approach to take. 

You do not have to worry about keeping a schedule, and you can take the time out to drive to the beach or a nearby mountain.

  • Look for programs in your community.

A lot of communities these days have fitness programs that are held outdoors. You can join them now and then. Not only will you be able to enjoy the outdoors, but you can meet new people as well and grow your community spirit.

In Abu Dhabi, there’s a Connect with Nature program, and it promotes nature activities that support environmental awareness. You can try hiking, windsurfing, and kayaking in Ajman.

  • Make it a family affair.

Get your loved ones involved in the activity. You can benefit from the fun companionship and support. Likewise, you get to kill three birds with one stone by doing this: You get to work on your health, you can spend quality time with the people who truly matter to you, and you can make prioritizing fitness and well-being a lifestyle for your family.

Switching Things Up for a Bigger Impact

Exercising, on its own, is already highly beneficial, but you can make it more so when you turn it into an opportunity to connect with nature.

So, do not stay cooped up in the gym all the time. Switch things up and head outdoors. It’s an excellent way to become healthier and happier.

 

Gifs: Giphy

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