Benefits of Working Out Outside

In general, exercise has a wide range of benefits, so does it really matter where you do your workout? Today we have the convenience of satisfying all of our exercise needs inside of the gym. However, is it really all we need? Outdoor exercise can offer many more benefits than indoor exercise.

Exercise is known to have antidepressant effects. Hormones released during exercise are to thank for that. Evidence shows that adding outdoor exercise into a routine has a stronger antidepressant effect than indoor exercise. People have reported feelings of positive emotions and increased motivation after their outdoor workout compared to their indoor one.

One reason outdoor exercise can magnify our positive feelings is because we get to connect to nature. As a human species, the outdoors used to be our main habitat. We naturally have a connectedness to nature. We have advanced so much, and we don’t utilize the outdoors the same way we used to. Time spent in nature is not prioritized as much due to technological advances, hustle culture, and many more 21st century reasons. A recent study showed that those who spent time outdoors reported higher rates of good health and well-being than people who didn’t get any outside time. Nature provides us with stimulation, grounding feelings, and positive mental wellness benefits.

So what can we do when we exercise outdoors? Whatever you can imagine! Activities such as hiking, biking, Nordic walking, swimming in natural waters, or other outdoor recreational sports, all require different muscle groups to complete the activity. Depending on what terrain and climate are around you, there may be exciting seasonal activities for you to try. Spending time outside also allows for natural vitamin D consumption.

Lastly, combining outdoor exercise with friends, or other of those interested in the activity, can be grounds for a great social outing. Socialization and outdoor activity are extremely beneficial to mental health. So not only do you get the positive effects of outdoor exercise, but you can get it with loved ones! Overall, the antidepressant effects, the feelings of connectedness from being outside, and challenging different muscle groups are all huge benefits to outdoor exercise.