Although our bodies evolved to move through the great outdoors, our busy modern lives often force us to squeeze in a few minutes of daily exercise in a boxed off, air-conditioned, crowded gym. Women ditching gym fitness classes for outdoor alternatives find themselves surprised and energized by a variety of benefits.
Working out in natural environments makes it more likely that you’ll stick with a new exercise program. According to a 2011 scientific review, individuals reported that they were more satisfied by outdoor activities and indicated a stronger intent to repeat the activity than those exercising indoors.
Although all forms of exercise increase brain chemicals associated with improved mood, outdoor physical activity may give you an extra boost. Outdoor exercise has been linked to lower levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Thus, exercising outside improves self-esteem, decreases stress, improves mental focus, and can even prevent depression.
Lighter & Leaner
Being outdoors often spurs the desire to perform more activity, compared to crowded or uninspiring indoor gyms. Thus, those who exercise outside often drop weight and increase lean muscle mass more quickly than their gym rat counterparts.
Often called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is synthesized using energy from ultraviolet light. Because outdoor exercisers get more sun exposure, their higher vitamin D levels may lead to decreased risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and ovaries.
So what are you waiting for? Join in one of our outdoor classes today!