Now that the weather’s getting nicer, it’s time to take your exercise outside. Because working out outdoors is really good for us in a lot of ways. Here are the benefits:
You’ll be more inclined to do it! An Ohio State University study found that, when we exercise outdoors, we’re 23 percent more likely to repeat it. And the reason is simple – it feels more fun.
It also feels easier – even though you’ll be working out harder. That’s because seeing the color green – in grass and trees – has a calming effect. As a result, it feels like we don’t have to push ourselves as hard, even though we’re exercising at a higher intensity. We naturally exert more energy outside because of uneven terrain and wind resistance.
Plus, after a measly five minutes of any outdoor exercise, you’ll feel happier and more confident. That’s according to research from the University of Essex, and that high can last all day – which is a good reason to choose a morning workout.
And when you workout in the morning, you’ll be able to fall asleep up to an hour sooner at night. That’s because the natural light you’ll soak up at sunrise will reset your circadian rhythm – making it easier to nod off at night.
You may also feel like you can skip the Starbucks run – after a morning run. According to the University of Rochester, just 20 minutes of outdoor exercise makes people more alert and energized – and it doesn’t cost $4!
Fewer germs! 10 percent of gym surfaces test positive for staph bacteria. When you go for a walk outside, you don’t have to touch any sweaty treadmill handrails or germ-covered buttons.