So, you’re just not feeling up to hitting the gym today? Are you looking for an excuse, or shall we say, a reason to skip it? How about three reasons?
We’re not saying you should skip your workout, just that you can feel free to move it to a new location. Ditch the gym and choose an outdoor spot for exercise instead – preferably one that isn’t too urban. The following facts provide all the reasons you need to opt for outdoor workouts on a regular basis.
It’s good for your heart. Those who regularly spend time outdoors, particularly in parks and wooded areas, enjoy better heart health than those who only spend time indoors or in cities. Several studies have linked outdoor time with lower blood pressure and heart rates, and reduced levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).
It’s more motivating. Let’s face it; even those who enjoy their workouts often get tired of the same old routine, in the same old place. If you’re tired of staring at the same four walls while you exercise, getting outside at least once per week can bring a refreshing change of pace. We’re all more likely to stick with a workout that we enjoy, and that changes frequently. So go biking at the park, move your body weight workout to the backyard, or take a hike at a nearby state park.
As an added bonus, your body will burn more calories during a workout when you try new forms of exercise. Now that’s really motivating!
You’ll feel happier. Studies have shown that those who regularly spend time outdoors report greater levels of life satisfaction. Those lower coritsol levels probably have something to do with it. But there might be even more going on. According to Diana Allen, chief of the National Park Service’s “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” initiative, “the natural setting of parks elicits a variety of experiences that facilitate spiritual expression, including a sense of wonder and awe, peacefulness, calm, stillness and/or tranquility”.
Exercise is important for everyone, but if you’re interested in weight loss in particular, give us a call. We can set an appointment to discuss your workout regimen and eating plan, and help you on a path toward sustained and medically supported lifestyle changes.