Regular exercise and taking part in activities is one of the best ways to keep your mental and physical health in top shape, but you don’t need to limit your sports sessions to the gym. Taking your routine into the great outdoors can provide a much-needed change of scenery, and it can bring even more health benefits to the table. From giving you more energy to introducing some new sports into your life, here are some key reasons to start exercising outside.
1. Good for Your Mental Health
With the mental health epidemic rising, 1 in 5 US adults will face a serious mental health condition during their lifetime. While exercise of any kind can boost your endorphins, stepping outside has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression by medical professionals. This is primarily due to the presence of Vitamin D in sunny weather, which has been linked to boosting happiness levels. However, there is some scientific backing to Ecotherapy and the idea that the great outdoors can induce feelings of calm and serenity. The greener the setting, the better, so why not head to your nearest park for a run?
2. Increased Energy Levels
When you exercise, your body takes in oxygen to be transported around the body. This leaves many people feeling energized and refreshed after a lengthy session. Though you can get plenty of oxygen when indoors, there is more for your body to take in when you participate in a vigorous activity outside. City parks are a good start, and you could try visiting a greener part of your local area to breathe in the fresher air.
3. Better Sleep Routine
Exercise alone has been linked to improving sleep for many people, but it is the mental health benefits of exercising outdoors which can result in a better night’s sleep. This is because being outdoors reduces stress levels. As one of the most popular reasons why people aren’t getting enough sleep each night, 43% of people have reported lying awake at least once a month with stress. The calmer you are, the more likely you are to drift off into an uninterrupted sleep, helping you to reach your recommended 7-9 nightly hours of sleep.
4. Gives Your Skin a Boost
Vitamin D isn’t just great for your mental health, but your skin. Whe