Exercising Outdoors Has It’s Perqs

Do you exercise in a gym, at home, or outdoors? If you get your exercise outdoors, you could be getting more juice from your workouts beyond the physical benefits.

A review of existing studies found that exercising outdoors showed an addition benefit of mental well-being compared with indoor exercise. Outdoor activity was associated with increased energy and a sense of revitalization, as well as decreased anger, confusion, and symptoms of depression.

Also, people taking part in outdoor activity said they were more likely to engage in that activity in the future.

I love being outdoors! If I have a choice, I will usually choose to exercise outside. Even if the weather is nasty, I would rather be out in it than in a gym on a treadmill. (but that’s just me)

One of the reasons I love exercising outdoors is that it somehow gives my mind the space to wander. It energizes me and calms me at the same time.

Back when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and throughout my treatments, this was so important to me. The exercise was great, but I also loved the sense of well-being I got from being out in nature. There was something so comforting to me about seeing all the faces of nature: beautiful, wicked weather, death and decay, and new life. Somehow it made whatever I was facing seem more natural. It was just another part of life, or at least my life – not unlike a tree that gets split but continues to struggle to live, sending out new shoots seeking light.

I always stress that you should do activities that you enjoy and that you’re most likely to continue to do. If getting on the treadmill for 45 minutes a day is what will get it done for you, then keep doing that. But try adding in a walk outside once in a while. You might find it helps in more ways than just exercising your body.


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4 Responses to Exercising Outdoors Has It’s Perqs

  1. Ronni Gordon says:

    We’re totally on the same page about exercising outdoors. I just rejoined the Y to go inside for a while because it’s too cold here in Western Mass and very icy underfoot. The treadmill gets it done but I think of it as “the dreadmill.” With the problems I’ve been having with my feet, I do feel that the treadmill works better for now…but still, I was just thinking today that besides ice and snow, the only other thing that really keeps me from going out is hard-driving pouring rain. I do love the way my mind wanders freely and pleasantly when I’m outside.

    I know what you mean about getting some time outside even if you’re mostly in. Even in these conditions, I’ve managed to walk my dog a mile or two every day.

  2. julie says:

    Yes, this has been a tough winter for getting out here in the NE. Well, unless it’s to ski… But the ice has been terrible – it’s hard to do anything.

    Glad you’re getting some time out with your dog! Dogs are great for getting people out.

  3. gillian says:

    Until I hurt my knee, I used to do tai chi two to five times a week and if the weather was ok, even if it was drizzling, we did it outdoors. I adored it and miss it terribly. But when I go now, a few hours later my knee starts burning….. Anyway, I really miss the early Saturday morning classes held on a school’s sports field…..although find gym has its own delights like the news updates from the tv sets and the strange people around you….

  4. I’ve never been a real outdoors person. In terms of gaining muscles and getting fit I would think that results would be the same indoors.

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