Exercise in the Outdoors

Written by: Liz Hiros, CFW Health Fitness Specialist

Joggin in autumn city park in colorful fall foliage.

Take some of your workouts outdoors to not only benefit your body but also your mind!

Here are some benefits of spending time in nature and exercising outdoors:

  1. Exercising outdoors or in a “green space” can boost our mood! Spending time in nature, even as little as 5 to 15 minutes, has been linked to a reduction in our stress levels and an increase in our cognitive attention. Next time you’re feeling stuck or find yourself struggling to focus on a task, try getting up and going for a quick walk outside if you can.
  2. Exercising outdoors sometimes feels less like a workout and more like play. While we may not realize it, sometimes when exercising outdoors we’re able to push ourselves a little harder because it feels less challenging physically and mentally. If you have ever said to a family member or friend “I’ll race you...” then you know this feeling! I can only speak for myself when I say, I probably ran faster during those “races” than I ever have on a treadmill.
  3. Exercising outdoors can be challenging on the muscles, in a good way. Wherever you are outside, the terrain is ever-changing. Your brain and your muscles need to work harder to pay attention and adapt to those changes especially compared to being on a flat surface indoors.
  4. Spending time in nature increases our feelings of happiness. If you can’t get out into nature but you’re in need of a mood booster- even viewing pictures of nature can help with that!
  5. Exercising outdoors is low to no cost and no equipment is required. If it’s the weekend or you’re traveling for work and don’t have your usual fitness equipment with you, don’t fret, park benches, hills, sandy beaches, etc. can be more than enough “equipment” for you to have a great workout.

So whether you enjoy spending your time in nature exercising or taking in the landscape, enjoy all the benefits that nature has to offer!

Want more? Click on the links below for more health and fit tips from CFW professionals.