If you’re like most, when you think of exercise, you picture running on a treadmill in a dark, crowded gym. Now that the weather is warming up, there’s a better option. Plenty of people exercise outside. In fact, there are numerous benefits to taking your workout to the park, beach, field or street.
> Vitamin D3 – When the sun hits your skin, it creates a chemical reaction, converting a prohormone in your skin into vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for your body to absorb calcium to increase bone density, keep the immune system healthy, balance phosphorus levels and aid in muscle development. So, while lying in the sun for 8 hours at the beach isn’t good for you, a brisk morning walk in the sunshine is fantastic for your overall health.
> More Challenging Workout – You may be able to run 10 miles inside without a problem, but you’ll feel like your legs are made of Jell-O after 2 miles on a trail. It’s a challenge, but the constant elevation and terrain variations help to improve your balance and increase your heart rate. After a good workout outdoors, you’ll definitely want to stop by Organic Avenue for a Power House Smoothie to help rebuild muscle tissue.
> Improved Mental Health – Spending time outside has a powerful effect on the brain. Psychological tests have shown that those who exercise outdoors scored higher on measures of enthusiasm, vitality, self-esteem and pleasure. Individuals exercising outside tend to have lower risk of depression, anxiety, tension and fatigue.
> Easier Habit to Stick With – One of the main reasons people stop exercising is because they get bored. Exercising outside doesn’t feel like exercise, especially when you’re doing an activity you enjoy. There are countless fun ways to stay fit outdoors, including walking, running, hiking, cycling, inline skating, swimming, and paddle-boarding, as well as tennis, basketball, racquetball and practicing yoga.
> Less Expensive Option – Gym memberships can be pricey. Why spend money when you can slip on a pair of sneakers and exercise outdoors for free? Lots of complementary outdoor group fitness events take place in the warmer months. If you’re in New York City, one of our favorites is weekly Bryant Park Yoga.
Spring has finally sprung and summer’s just around the corner, so there’s no better time than now to take your workout routine outside. The benefits for your body are plentiful, and there’s simply nothing better than inhaling fresh air out in the sunshine.