Getting out into the wilderness, and the life giving, oxygen-rich air of the forrest, is like nothing else.
There are so many benefits to playing outdoors, whether it’s a walk in the woods, a swim in the lake, or ocean; even just a stroll down the street.
Here’s some of my favourite reasons for sweating it out in nature…
Nordic skiing. Pemberton, B.C.
1. The scenery keeps you from getting bored
There’s so much to look at when you escape the gym. Instead of fixating on that sports’ channel nobody really seems to be watching, take in the smells, and the constant scenery change outdoors. Nature is stimulating to the mind, and can keep you inspired and motivated to keep going. I used to need my iPod to keep me going on the indoor treadmill, but find the sounds of wilderness (birds singing, rushing water, even the rain) so much better at pushing me along.
An oxygen-rich, moss covered forest, Vancouver Island, B.C.
2. Outdoor workouts improve your mood
Evidence continues to prove that outdoor activity increases the feel good hormone – serotonin. So, not only do you get fit, but you finnish your outdoor workout in a fantastic mood. It’s a win, win.
Volunteers were asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, and the other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue, after they walked outside. – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors, The New York Times, By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Yellowstone National Park, Montana, USA
3. It’s freakin’ free!
Gym memberships can be costly, and who doesn’t love saving a buck?
Another bonus of outdoor workouts – you can literally run out your front door and get going. Take advantage of hill sprints if you live in a residential area, or city park benches for tricep dips, or step-up’s. If you live near a beach, run in the sand; if you live near the forest, enjoy a trail run, or walk. You can make an outdoor activity work just about anywhere. Just be creative.
The options are truly endless when it comes to outdoor activity. It’s like my church. Whenever I need a break from the real world, nothing lifts my spirits like a big breath of fresh air.
Hiking the spine. MacBeth Icefields, B.C.