You know you need a regular exercise routine, both for physical health and stress prevention. But it can be difficult to stick with a workout routine when it’s boring or feels ineffective. If you’re dreading the gym, move your workout outside. We have identified three important reasons for this change (and you might even think of others).
It’s more fun. What sounds like more fun: Staring at a gym wall, or being outdoors in nature? Most people find outdoor activities more fun, and we’re more likely to stick with things that we enjoy.
Enjoy more variety. We’re also more likely to stick with an exercise program when we switch it up once in a while. When you go to the gym, you’re exercising in the same place (and often at the same times, doing the same things) every day. Heading outside immediately changes up your routine. And from there, you can choose activities like hiking, biking, swimming, tennis, golf, and so on.
You can even do the same exercise – say, walking – but switch up the location to keep it interesting.
Sunlight is good for you. Studies have shown that vitamin D can boost your immune system, and even prevent conditions like obesity and diabetes. Since we make our own vitamin D from sunlight exposure, exercising outdoors can do your body good in more than one way.
How to exercise outdoors safely. Even with all of these benefits, some caution is in order when you exercise outdoors. Keep these safety rules in mind:
- Wear appropriate clothing, with conditions like heat stroke and sunburn in mind
- Wear light-colored clothing if you exercise at night, so drivers can see you
- Never swim alone, even if you’re an excellent swimmer
- Bring plenty of water
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses or a visor
- Tell someone your walking or running route, and choose locations where you feel safe
- If you’re hiking, don’t take unfamiliar side trails, use a map, and educate yourself on local wildlife
If you need more information to determine which forms of exercise are safe for you, come see us for a check-up. We can also offer guidance on a weight loss plan if that is your goal.