Exercising Outdoors: Tips, Tricks & Benefits

Exercising Outdoors 1

By Scarlet Gratton

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of outdoor exercise. Moderate levels of daily exercise can, and in most cases will, improve your mood and give you more energy. A 2010 study done by researchers from the University of Essex has analyzed ten studies with a topic of mood and self-esteem benefits that come from outdoor activity. Taken all together, these ten studies covered more than 1200 participants and each of them has shown significant positive effects of “green exercise”. But why does the outdoor environment have this effect? The following are just some of the benefits with explanations.

 

Endorphin levels skyrocket

Exercising Outdoors 2

Endorphin is also known as the happy hormone. You know it is being released whenever you feel euphoric. It helps relieve the feeling of pain, as well. In this sense, endorphin is a natural drug, which is why some enhancement drugs and opioids are based on a similar chemical structure as endorphins.

During exercise endorphin levels are increased, which is why you have that feeling of joy and relief after a good run, or why people tend to get addicted to exercise. With moderate levels of exercise a couple of times a week, you can increase your levels of endorphin enough to make your week a lot better. The “green exercise” experience has been shown to help treat depression as well. Fresh air, the color green and sunlight help your body produce more endorphin and dopamine, which people with depression lack.

 

More energy – more fun

Exercising Outdoors 3

Being outside can definitely make you feel re-energized, and exercising outdoors actually boosts your energy levels, but only if your body has enough fuel to train and not feel fatigued. Nutrients are the ones fueling this process, so it’s wise to reassess your diet and make sure you are taking enough proteins and carbs essential for your muscle health. Apart from monitoring your macronutrient intake, you should also try to increase the consumption of micronutrients, since they are essential for your body when exposed to strenuous exercise.

Micronutrients are actually crucial for energy production, as well as CNS and muscle tissue repair. The one mineral which is responsible for both, energy production and recovery, is magnesium. It helps relieve sore muscles because it prevents excess calcium from rushing into cells and causing a state of tension and rigidity. At the same time, it is responsible for cellular energy production because it activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – the primary energy carrier. Unfortunately, the human body has difficulties absorbing it from food, which is why those physically active use magnesium tablets to avoid magnesium deficiency. Having enough magnesium will ensure your energy level is replenished, and your muscles relaxed, so you can truly enjoy the experience of taking your fitness outside.

 

Concentration benefits

Exercising Outdoors 4

As much as it helps your body, exercising outdoors helps your mind as well. A 2016 study has shown that moderate aerobic can improve cognitive functions and concentration in 24 weeks. While most research agrees that you can benefit more from moderate levels of exercise, there is also a 2014 study which states that high-intensity training sessions can help improve short-term memory and overall cognitive performance. Even so, you will be doing your mind a favor by having at least a ten-minute daily walk in the woods or a park. Exercising outdoors in the green provides more fresh air and the very much needed oxygen for better concentration. With boosting your self-esteem as well, outdoor exercise can give you a boost of confidence to finish your assignments with even better results.

 

Better sleep

Exercising Outdoors 5

The World Health Organization’s recommended level of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes per week. Walking to work and back should not be considered exercise, because every workout should always start with a warm-up session and finish off with gradually lowering the intensity of exercise and stretching. With this becoming a weekly habit, your sleep schedule will improve. This recommended level of exercise has been shown to benefit insomniacs, as well. Falling to bed after a long working day may seem like the best idea at that moment, but going for at least a ten-minute walk or jogging session before bed can help your body prepare for a healthier and calmer sleep.

Don’t be scared when it’s cold outside, because outdoor exercise during winter can have even more benefits, as long as you are prepared for it. You need a warm sports suit, a hat, a very good warm up, and some sort of bandana or other cloth that covers your mouth to protect you from breathing cold air. Training in gyms can be expensive and potentially dangerous if you are new to the equipment or the environment. So, make the most use of your outdoor running tracks and gyms for as long as you can.

Guest Author

Scarlet is a passionate writer and a regular contributor at ripped.meinterested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves travelling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.

66 thoughts on “Exercising Outdoors: Tips, Tricks & Benefits

  • November 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    I feel liberated exercising out in the open. Sound of chirping birds and fresh air. Just the way it should be done, rather than an air conditioned gym.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:53 am
      Permalink

      Hi Anahita! 🙂
      Thank you so much for your comment, my thoughts exactly! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 20, 2018 at 4:03 am
    Permalink

    THIS POST IS DAMN AMAZING.. <3 I just love exercising.. loved reading this post… 🙂 <3

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:51 am
      Permalink

      Hi Bushra! 🙂
      Thank you so much, I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it, and it means a lot to me to hear that! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm
    Permalink

    Exercising outdoors is very relaxing and I totally agree that exercising outdoors will help you in sleeping better at night. Relaxes mind also

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:50 am
      Permalink

      Hi Sayanti! 🙂 Thank you so much, and glad to hear that nature helps you relax your body and mind. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 17, 2018 at 9:13 am
    Permalink

    I honestly do not enjoy any kind of exercise, but this is something I can see myself do. I love nature and I do believe that I will have more fun exercising outdoors.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:48 am
      Permalink

      Hi Elena! 🙂
      Maybe nature can help you enjoy exercising more. 🙂 And you can always go for a hike, so you are out and about, breathing fresh air and enjoying spectacular views. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm
    Permalink

    I always feel SO much more motivated to work out when I’m outside. It’s more fun and the views are much better!

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:45 am
      Permalink

      Hi Whitney! 🙂
      Great to hear that it’s more fun for you too, because I believe that working out should be a fun activity. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 16, 2018 at 2:48 am
    Permalink

    I love travelling, exercising and being in the great outdoors, but I must say your images are so awesome. May I ask which camera do you use?

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:41 am
      Permalink

      Hi Twosome! 🙂

      Thank you so much, but these are not my images – they’re taken from unsplash.com (they do have a lot of great ones there). I have to admit that I’m not so much of a photographer myself. 😀

      Reply
  • November 16, 2018 at 12:18 am
    Permalink

    I enjoy the outdoors, especially during the warmer seasons. Nothing is more motivating than being surrounded by the beauty of nature.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:38 am
      Permalink

      Hi HilLesha! 🙂 Great to meet another nature lover, and glad to hear that nature is a motivating force for you as well. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 15, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    Permalink

    There are so many good things about exercising and exercising outdoors specifically. I think I just appreciate the beauty of the world more while I am out there exercising and seeing things firsthand.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:36 am
      Permalink

      Hi David! 🙂 I couldn’t have said it better than you – it really makes you appreciate the beauty that is surrounding you. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 15, 2018 at 12:13 am
    Permalink

    I love getting outside, connecting with nature and getting fresh air. However it is SO COLD here during the winter months, it is uncomfortable and difficult to enjoy! I wish I lived in a warmer climate where it is easier to enjoy year-round.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:34 am
      Permalink

      Hi Marysa! 🙂 Who knows, maybe one day you move to another country/continent. 😀 But I understand you completely, it is not enjoyable to go out when the temperatures are so low that it feels like you’re going to turn into an ice sculpture.

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 9:29 pm
    Permalink

    As someone who swears by indoor gyms and lives on the computer, this is such an eye-opening post! I knew that going outside was helpful but I had no idea the extent of it until reading this post!

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:31 am
      Permalink

      Anne, thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂 It means a lot to me to hear that you found my article helpful, and I hope you will share with us your experience of exercising out in the open. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    This post reminds me I need to get out into nature more often. I think I am more motivated to go and try an exercise routine outdoors now.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi Jana! 🙂 It makes me so happy to hear that, and I hope you had a chance to try it out, and that it was a great experience for you!

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    Permalink

    Exercising outdoors is such a fulfilling experience. People need to do this to realize what is so good about it. Nothing beats the combination of fresh air, scenic wonder, quiet and peacefulness to be at one with nature.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:26 am
      Permalink

      Hi Becca! 🙂 I agree with you completely, and hope that more and more people will come to realize both psychological and physical benefits of spending time outside, forming that connection with nature. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    This is so great – I love the freedom of being a woman these days and feeling the freedom and exhilaration of exercising yourself around nature.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:23 am
      Permalink

      Hi Elizabeth! 🙂
      I love the freedom it gives you, as well, and so glad you share the same feeling as me! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 11:49 am
    Permalink

    Lots of benefits from exercising indeed! What more could you ask for if you can do it around the greeneries or wonders of nature!

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:21 am
      Permalink

      Hi Ron! 🙂 Thank you for your comment – I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 14, 2018 at 5:30 am
    Permalink

    Exercising next to nature gives us additional energy and removes the bad energy quickly. Plus breathing fresh air is a good experience.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:19 am
      Permalink

      Hi Blair! 🙂 It’s the same for me – nature is my go-to place whenever I’m feeling blue; it’s a surge of pure positive energy.

      Reply
  • November 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    Permalink

    Hiking has always been a great outdoor exercise routine for me. Reading your post is gearing me up for a hike.

    Reply
    • November 27, 2018 at 11:12 am
      Permalink

      HI Elizabeth! 🙂

      Glad to hear that, and I hope you enjoyed your hike, if you had a chance to go for a one. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    Permalink

    This is something I need to do more off, as need to take time to take some time for myself, maybe when the weather starts to get warmer though

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Samantha! 🙂 It would be great if you found at least 15 mins a day for yourself, I believe that it could give you a whole new perspective. 🙂 If you go around midday it shouldn’t be that cold outside (if you can, of course). 🙂

      Reply
  • November 13, 2018 at 8:50 am
    Permalink

    These pictures are amazing, where did you get them? And, yes definitely agree with you: Being outdoors is essential for our physical and mental health.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:58 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Kate! 🙂
      I got them at unsplash.com, they have such lovely images there, plus they are free to use. 🙂 Unfortunately, I’m not so good at taking pictures myself. 😀

      Reply
  • November 12, 2018 at 4:49 pm
    Permalink

    There is nothing parallel to a work-out amidst nature. I am so glad that a person like you who enjoys this routine has penned down this article. Made for an inspiring read 🙂 I stick to pilates and light yoga when travelling. Love this recommendation of ‘going for at least a ten-minute walk or jogging session before bed’. Though, I doubt if I will have the energy to pull up my socks at the end of the day, haha!

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:56 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Meenakshi, thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂
      Yoga is amazing, really helps you keeping the mind and body balance, I love it! 🙂 Sometimes if I feel tired I play some music first and that helps me energize just enough to be able to get dressed and go outside. 🙂 And once I start, I really feel great and sleep like a baby afterwards. 🙂

      Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much Elle, and I also think that nature has a unique way of making us feel restored and at peace. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm
    Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more – I always feel SO much better after doing some exercise outside and it always makes me feel re-energized and happier. There’s nothing quite like exercising to a beautiful view and listening to the peaceful sounds of nature.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:48 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Rosie! 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment, and I am so glad to hear another nature lover who considers exercising outside such an amazing experience! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 12, 2018 at 2:19 am
    Permalink

    All the written benefits of exercising outdoors are indeed accurate. For me, one of the two most important benefits of exercising outdoor is better sleep and good concentration. Although sometimes, I’m lazy to workout outdoors, I try my best to maintain exercising! And yea, can agree with the fact that going to the gym can also be very expensive, for example, I do Muay Thai once a week and each session is a bit pricey so instead, I try to run in the park! Also, it’s free ! haha Tho we don’t have winter here! Only summer everyday!

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you so much for your comment Catherine! 🙂 I’m glad to hear that working out in nature helps you with your sleep and concentration, oxygen really has an amazing role in functioning of our brain. And yes, taking your fitness outside is definitely economical! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 11, 2018 at 11:21 pm
    Permalink

    I love exercising outdoors. I wish I could do so more often here but our weather usually doesn’t make room for that.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Stella! 🙂
      At least you do it sometimes, which is still beneficial to an extent. Maybe you will be able to do it more often in the future. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm
    Permalink

    Looking at the recommendation from World Health Organization of 150 minutes per week of physical activity sounds so doable. It boils down to close to 22 minutes a day. But achieving that can be a challenge too if not done mindfully. Like the tip of not being afraid of winters as currently am in a cold region in Himalayas and its easy to convince against going outdoors. Haha. But now I would remember insights here. I totally agree and have experienced all the benefits shared about exercising outdoors and would prefer it over working out in a gym.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Navita! 🙂
      Yes, it really is doable, but in the beginning you have to think about it and plan it in advance. Later, it becomes just a part of your everyday routine. I sometimes divide it into two, so do a bit of exercising in my backyard in the morning, and go for a jog in a nearby park in the evening when I don’t have enough time to do it all at once. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm
    Permalink

    I totally agree. This is exactly the reason I prefer running in the park rather then treadmill-ing in the gym. Just looking at the trees and birds for me is so much more relaxing and pushes the limits than being confined within 4 walls!

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for your comment Bhushavali, I couldn’t agree more with you! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 11, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    Permalink

    We are working on this! We have 40 acres and plenty of room to run and play. I can already tell a big difference in our health. And, my moody tweenagers are in much better moods. I’ve noticed less tension in my muscles and joints.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Kristy! 🙂 40 acres sounds wonderful, it’s really great to have so much space for you and your family to have fun. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Permalink

    Totally agree with this post and that’s why I have a dog. If there’s anything that forces you outside it will be a dog. Now you need to convince me to go out when it’s pouring with rain 🙂

    Reply
    • November 13, 2018 at 1:32 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Sarah. 🙂 Oh having a dog is the best motivation ever, since you will have to take him out. 🙂
      I will try to find out why rain can be beneficial for our health too (I also tend to stay in when it’s raining or snowing outside), maybe it’ll help us. 😀

      Reply
  • November 10, 2018 at 9:13 am
    Permalink

    Loved this kind of post where in we focus our health and physical condition. This is surely a great benefit when done regularly.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:18 am
      Permalink

      Thank you Gervin, I also believe that the combination of physical activities and nature can bring you many benefits concerning your well-being. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 10, 2018 at 9:03 am
    Permalink

    I find the fresh air outside makes me feel good as well.And I do think you work harder when you’re outdoors as you have the space to do so x

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:27 am
      Permalink

      Thank you Rhian, it also seems to me that I am much more active when taking my fitness outside than when I go to the gym. Once outside, the scenery keeps inspiring me to stay outside longer and walk or run more. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 9, 2018 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    I love to go for a walk at least 2x a day with my kids, and it’s usually 1 mile because we walk to the bigger park in our town. It’s getting snowy and too wet/cold right now to though so i have to go alone when I go before hubby leaves for work.

    These are great tips! I love to be outdoors, especially when it is so nice out.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:29 am
      Permalink

      Thanks you so much Alicia, and I think that it’s great that you go together with your kids when the weather allows it, so you can spend such wonderful time as a family and do something so beneficial. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm
    Permalink

    I love outdoors activities but I mainly go hiking etc during Summer or on holiday as I really can’t stand the cold haha

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:39 am
      Permalink

      Lol I completely agree, I can’t stand the cold as well 😀

      Reply
  • November 9, 2018 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    Very nicely written article – the author sure seems like she knows what she’s talking about. Personally, I’m always way above the recommended 150 minutes per week. I love the outdoors and even when I’m not traveling I go for a 15km run at least two times per week. Thank you for sharing this lovely write-up

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:42 am
      Permalink

      Thank you so much Daniel. 🙂 It is great to hear that you enjoyed the article, and I think it’s wonderful that you also spend a lot of time outside, and appreciate the outdoors so much. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 9, 2018 at 10:23 am
    Permalink

    Exercising outdoors makes a lot of sense, especially if you can find a natural beauty spot in which to do it. You have the added benefit of fresh air, perhaps an invigorating breeze, plus the inspiring views to keep you motivated!

    Reply
    • November 10, 2018 at 11:43 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kavita! 🙂 Yes, I also find that I am way more motivated to work out when I am outside, enjoying spectacular views and fresh air. It really does a lot for our health. 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Jana Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: