According to numerous studies done and documented by trusted sources, people who engage in regular physical exercises have their life expectancy increase by 0.4 to 6.9 years. Improved muscle and bone strength, enhanced brain function, lowered risk of developing heart diseases, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are also some of the benefits associated with engaging in regular outdoor and indoor physical workouts.
However, most health workers and fitness experts believe that outdoor workouts confer more health benefits than indoor workouts. So, whether you have been working out outdoors or you are planning to do so and you are looking for factual answers to the most asked question, what are the benefits of outdoor workout? Then read on as I got you covered through this article. I will walk you through 10 science-based reasons on the importance of taking your workout outdoors.
Below are some of the reasons why you should consider taking your workout outdoors;
#1. It helps one foster strong social interaction
Gyms are viewed as a place for working out and not socializing. In fact, there are unwritten gym etiquette rules that, to some extent, limit social interactions in these fitness centers. Such rules include;
- Keeping phone conversations to a minimum
- Avoid excessive vocalization and grunting
- Seeking permission before changing a TV channel
Such rules seem to create a barrier when it comes to fostering social interactions in a gym. However, by choosing to take outdoor workouts, you can form strong social interactions with those you choose to work out with. Remember, in the gym, one meets more strangers than people there are familiar with. But in the outdoors, one may choose to work out with friends or relatives. And during such sessions, one is able to create long-lasting social relationships.
#2. It promotes workout creativity
By choosing to workout outdoors, you directly enhance your workout creativity. In the outdoor, there are no machines for one to perform a specific workout routine. Instead, there are plenty of things that one can use to come up with a creative workout routine.
For instance, one can use a sitting bench to perform triceps dips or jump a rope. One can also perform side shuffles on stairs to improve knee flexibility. All you need is to be innovative with the resources around you.
#3. It helps in mood stabilization and elevation
People who perform their exercises outdoors have higher levels of serotonin; this is according to a study conducted at the University of Queensland, Australia. Serotonin, which is a hormone produced in the brain and the intestine, is a chemical messenger whose primary function is to act as a mood stabilizer or regulator. Hence when you workout outdoors, your body releases more serotonin, which in turn helps in mood stabilization and elevation.
#4. You get to produce more vitamin D
Did you know that vitamin D, is not a vitamin but a hormone? When your skin gets exposed to UV radiation which is present in the sunlight, it produces Vitamin D. Thus, by performing your workouts outdoors, your body produces more vitamin D, which is essential in aiding weight loss, enhancing oral health, lowering risks of developing pancreatic, prostatic, and breast cancers. Vitamin D also aids in boosting one's immune system, lowering blood pressure, and promoting and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
#5. It boosts your physical stamina and endurance
The rough terrains found outdoor helps boost your physical stamina and endurance.
#6. It helps one to burn more calories
People who workout outdoors tend to burn more calories than those who workout in enclosed spaces. This is so because an outdoor environment provides one with enthusiasm to exercise in the right way and for more hours with minimal exertion than they would have done if they were indoors. And by working out effectively and for more hours, one automatically burns more calories.
#7. There are no restrictions and rules to follow
In a gym setup, there are ideally conventional guidelines that dictate how you perform your workout. For instance, there is a specific procedure on how to lift weights in a gym or how to run on a treadmill. These rules do not apply when one chooses to workout outdoors; as long as you perform your workouts safely without endangering anyone or yourself while in the outdoors, no one will question you or try to school you on how to best perform your push-ups or squatting maneuvers.
#8. It's motivating and energizing
A peaceful environment, quality air, adequate space, and different sceneries are some of the factors that cause one to be more motivated and energized when working outdoors than indoors.
#9. It helps reduce and prevent depression
According to statistics, approximately 280 million people have depression in the world. Studies conducted show that spending time outdoors in an environment with an abundance of green help reduce and prevent depression by reducing anxiety and stress levels and elevating positive emotions such as calmness and happiness.
Nature provides one with relief from anxiety, stress, and mental fatigue. Through exercise, your body releases neurotransmitters that act as antidepressants. Such neurotransmitters include;
- Endorphins help in reducing and preventing depression by blocking pain and increasing sensations of pleasure.
- Endocannabinoids function as antidepressants by aiding in emotional processing.
- Dopamine helps in regulating factors that can predispose one to get depression. Such factors include sleeping patterns, mood, motivation, and pain processing.
#10. It's cost-effective
Getting a monthly gym membership costs around $40-$50. And if you live far from the gym, it may cost you approximately 10 dollars to hire taxi or purchase gas. Thus, by choosing to perform your workouts outdoors, you get to save on the costs you would have incurred.
Enhanced Vitamin D production, reduction and prevention of depression, mood stabilization, and elevation are some of the benefits of taking your workout outdoors. You also get to foster solid social interactions, save on money, burn more calories and boost your workout creativity by performing your workout routines in the outdoor space.
Always remember to stay hydrated before and after working out outdoors. Also, don't forget to put on protective clothes during your outdoor workout sessions.