When we picture our self, having the body shape which we always have dreamed of, we imagine us to be running on the beach, hiking on mountains, bring water from the river while on camp. All these scenarios in our head have one thing in common which is nature and outdoors.
“Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.”—Gretel Ehrlich
The irony is that we do want yourselves outside in nature after we are done gaining the boy shorts or bikini body and not while the process. When the word exercise strikes the mind, the gym is the only sacred sanctum. Hitting an Indoor gyms sounds like a sensible plan during the snowy chilly winters or during the scorching summer, but if we try to manage the timings we can always shift our workout regime to outdoors.
There is overwhelming scientific evidence in many medical journals regarding exercising in the outdoors, which is better for you – both physically and mentally. Apart from that, various pseudoscience and Alternative medicine practitioners swear by nature’s power of healing. For example- Chinese Alternative medical approach called Reiki (Energy healing)
Connecting with nature is valuable to our overall health and wellbeing. According to human history, the ancestors of mankind lived in the wild for thousands of the year. Hence we all share a genetic bond with nature. Our busy lifestyles do not allow us to spend the required time in nature for which our body is craving. Introducing Outdoor workouts will allow us to reconnect with nature along with add on benefits of outdoor exercise and fitness training to our body.
- More Sun, More vitamin D
Vitamin D also called the sunshine vitamin is one of the most critical and essential micronutrients required for the human body. This sunshine vitamin is the reason why outdoorsy people seem to be joyful and healthy than the rest of us. When our skin gets exposed to the sunlight, the sun’s ultraviolet rays hit the cholesterol and convert it into cholecalciferol better known as Vitamin D3. This nutrient is either acquired through a balanced diet or by exposing ourselves to the sunlight at least 15 minutes a day. Vitamin D helps to make our bones stronger by absorbing calcium, which the main building block of bone. It also keeps the nerves, muscles, and immune system working efficiently.
Deficiency of Vitamin D causes soft bone condition osteomalacia, and the porous bone condition called osteoporosis. Other disorders linked with vitamin D deficiency are the brittle bones, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, increased cancer risk.
- Outdoor Workouts Improve Mental Health and releasing more “feel good” Hormones
You surely would think, all exercises improve mental health. Duh! Yes, you are correct. Any kind of physical activity helps us achieve the inner sanctum we crave for. But hear this, the speed of reaching that happy place inside you is faster when you work out outdoors than a four-walled gym.
How many times have you felt one-mile jog on the treadmill has slowed the time? And the same one-mile jog on the footpath or in the community park has felt like time went in seconds? This has happened to all of us at least once.
There is an abundance of scientific studies supporting the fact that working out outdoors improves the emotion more readily than working out in Gymnasium. According to one such study published in PLOS ONE, Researchers divided 42 healthy individuals into three groups wherein one ran on a treadmill, others went hiking and the third being control sat on the couch doing nothing. The results when collected showed that the group went hiking reported feel the most lively, attentive, energized, and calm. Hence, proving the emotions are simulated the most when we are outdoorsy.
- Helps with insomnia. Rise shine and sweat
One in every ten people is insomniac. Though there are medications available to treat insomnia, but they are usually not a preferred choice. Even doctors recommend medication as a last resort and advice to follow some lifestyle changes which ultimately will improve the sleep cycle.
There is a correlation between exercise and the sleep cycle. Researchers speculate that there are several reasons why exercising outside may help reduce the severity of insomnia. Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature, hence when we are done there is a sudden drop in the temperature which promotes sleep. The post-exercise drop in temperature aids quick sleeping as well as is known to reduce anxiety which often is the reason for insomnia. Insomniac people often disturb the body clock which medically is known by circadian rhythms. Exercising outdoor helps to shift the timing back if workouts are done at the right time of the day.
- Be the New You!
“Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?” –Michelle Obama
Being outdoors allows being spontaneous. You can always hit the stop button on the treadmill, but when you are jogging three blocks you have a chance to go on, go back, stay and eat a healthy snack under the road shack. All I am saying is, the world is outside and you need to be there as well. Take your workout regime to a new level, try something new! Introduce new circuits, variations, exercises, or create a whole new routine. Learn Parkour, Be a part of Group workout sessions.
Life is full of Unpredictable opportunities and be grateful for it. It is a bliss for the human spirit. Everyday exercising in the park near the same bench would be different because of different weather and people around. Embrace the change.
Back In Motion Fitness & Performance in Fort Myers, FL encourages you to go outside for a run every day for at least 15 minutes and we suggest you keep sunscreen with SPF 30, A towel, and a water bottle handy for a beautiful, sweat-free, and hydrated skin.