Benefits of Exercising Outside
Outdoor Exercise Can Boost the Body, Mind, and Mood
The above pictures were taken on a hiking trip I made to Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
Spring is finally here! Yay! It’s my favorite time of year. With the cool, pleasant temperatures, flowers blooming, grass and trees budding, everywhere you look it’s so lush and green. It’s absolutely beautiful. With the comfortable temperatures and nature coming back to life , it’s a great time to get moving outdoors. ( Although it’s now early June and the temps are a wee bit warmer but still not too hot. I meant to get this article written a month ago, life’s busy. Lol). Anyway, . I know for me, I feel motivated to get more exercise in the spring because I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature again after a long winter.
I generally start out hiking on trails at local metro parks. I have quite a few near where I live. However, I do have my favorite trail. It’s my favorite because it has hills and stairs. It makes me feel like I’m getting a really good workout. I achieve that panting , out of breath , heart racing pace, which help me to know I’m getting a good workout and burning extra calories. One of my absolutely favorite places to hike is at Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County, Ohio. That’s where these photos were taken. It’s so beautiful there and has many outdoor activities to engage in, besides hiking, ziplining, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing etc… There is a campground if you enjoy camping. If you prefer more luxurious accomodation’s, there are plenty of cabins in the area. Go visit there, you won’t be disappointed.
Here are some of the benefits of outdoor workouts, and tips for getting started.
1 Improve Immune System Function
According to Science Daily, Research has found evidence that spending time in nature provides protections against a startling range of diseases, including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many more. How this exposure to green space leads to better health has remained a mystery. After reviewing hundreds of studies examining nature’s effects on health, University of Illinois environment and behavior researcher Ming Kuo believes the answer lies in nature’s ability to enhance the functioning of the body’s immune system.
One way to understand this relationship between nature, health, and the immune system, Kuo explains, is that exposure to nature switches the body into “rest and digest” mode, which is the opposite of the “fight or flight” mode. When the body is in “fight or flight” mode, it shuts down everything that is immediately nonessential, including the immune system.
“When we feel completely safe, our body devotes resources to long-term investments that lead to good health outcomes–growing, reproducing, and building the immune system,” Kuo said. “When we are in nature in that relaxed state, and our body knows that it’s safe, it invests resources toward the immune system.”
2) Boost Self Esteem and Feel Happier
It releases happy chemicals into your brain and you feel less stressed out. It energizes you and gives you self confidence. It eases anxiety and fights insomnia.
3). Alleviates Depression
According to Psypost, A preliminary study led by Anika Fruehauf, It was discovered that outdoor activity appears to have a significantly improved effect on certain symptoms of depression when compared to the indoor activity, the improvements may be a result of nature’s influence on mood.
4). Vitamin D
Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Vitamin D has many roles in the body and is essential for optimal health
For example, it instructs the cells in your gut to absorb calcium and phosphorus — two minerals that are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones
5). Stress Relief
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
6). Extra Energy
Regular physical activity increases the blood flow to your body and improves your cardiovascular health and fitness. This will allow more blood and oxygen to get to the body providing energy to do work. … Exercise is a great way to improve energy levels.
7). Cheap and Easy Access.
It’s free! All you need to get a fantastic workout is a safe, well-lit park, track, neighborhood or walking trail, and your bodyweight. No gym membership required.
8). Connecting With Mother Nature
Exercising outdoors can help you feel grounded, deepen your connection to your environment and enhance your appreciation for the beauty around you.
You may be more likely to stick with it.
You can turn it into a social outing. “Exercise can become a lot more fun if you involve family and friends,” Instead of meeting a friend for lunch or coffee, consider going for a walk. Or take your family out for a walk together instead of watching TV after dinner.
Below are pictures of Cedar Falls down in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
Below is the gorge down at Old Man’s Cave, Hocking Hills State Park
Have fun with it! Exercise and be happy