Outdoor Activities Benefit Our Health.

Outdoor Activities Benefit Our Health.

While it is well known that a healthy body and mind most often go together and that exercise can help us on a path to mental wellness, there are added benefits when that exercise takes place in the great outdoors. Stress and anxiety respond well to having a physical outlet and even more so when time is taken to enjoy nature and our surroundings.

Benefits to Choosing Outdoor Workouts

You may remember being told often as a child how important it was to “go out and get some sunshine.” It’s true that the vitamin D we get from the morning sun during a quick walk or jog can have far-reaching effects on our general health.

Getting adequate sunlight, much like exercising itself, helps to build up our immune system and regulate our chemical levels, which has a profound effect on our mood. Even just a quick 15-minute walk outside during your lunch break can give your mood a much-needed boost.

But vitamin D isn’t the only thing that going outside to exercise will provide to you. Many of the benefits found through exercise are amplified by the outdoors. Fresh air helps keep oxygen levels high, blood pressure low and can even improve your heart rate. Working out indoors may have similar benefits at a base level, but if you decide to take your routine outdoors, you can expect an even healthier experience for both mind and body. Much like deep breathing improves focus and helps to keep anxiety at bay, a little fresh air can go a long way to benefit your health.

Outdoor activities are also an easier way to focus on exercise. Often when working out at home it can be tempting to stop and check your phone or take frequent breaks.

Setting aside time that you respect as the time you’re going to work on your health and using that short period outside to workout and bring focus back to how you’re feeling mentally and physically can help greatly with self-esteem, managing stress and focusing on yourself in a healthy, positive way.

Outdoor Workout Possibilities Are Endless

If you’re struggling to find workout routines that fit into your schedule or that are affordable, there are a lot of exciting options. Going out of your way to explore new areas through hiking or jogging can bring great satisfaction, as well as helping you to build confidence as you learn more about your local areas.

Going on daily walks, even just around the block, is also a good way to meet new people. But even on your own your mental health benefits just from forming a healthy routine and getting blood and oxygen flows up while stress levels are worked out of the body.

More adventure can be had for those looking for new mental stimulation by going swimming at the local public pool or beach, cycling in a new neighborhood, or even horseback riding, skiing or canoeing if any nearby facilities allow for these types of activities.

Spend More Time Outdoors In Spring

Believe it or not, Spring is coming! Perhaps you can already see the changes in your neighborhood. Some of us aren’t as lucky. However, all of us can start making our Spring plans now. We can spend more time outdoors in Spring and experience life-changing rewards. 

Healthy Sunshine 

Go ahead: do nothing. Just sit outside and absorb the sunshine. Your body will create healthy vitamins to build immunity and improve mood. So if you feel as if sitting still is somehow lazy, just remind yourself that you are creating good physical health as well as a sense of calmness and peace for your day. Meditate. Read a book. Take things slowly for a few minutes (or longer). Be good to yourself. The other stuff in your life can usually wait for a little while. 

Read a book…take things slowly…

Energizing Exercise 

Spring is a time to get out and get moving. Walking will shake out some of those tense muscles you’ve developed while hibernating on the couch during snowstorms and flu season. Running will get you breathing deeply as you build cardiovascular endurance. Swinging on a swing will let you feel like a kid again. Go to the park, go fishing, or go out with a friend; it all works. Fresh air improves sleep habits. A change of real-life scenery rescues us from those online virtual worlds we sometimes spend too much time in. 

The Joy Of Gardening 

Springtime is the time to plant seeds that will bring results later. You can have a home garden and grow your favorite vegetables. You can start some herbs in planters and move them to the porch when the weather warms up. Have you ever carved your own pumpkin for Halloween? Have you tasted fresh peas from your garden? Planting seeds in the ground can mean planting possibilities in your life. Enjoy the seed catalogs, pick your produce, teach the kids, and build self-reliance. Spring is the time for growth, and this can involve changes within you as well. 

Enjoying the garden…..

The Abundant Life 

Living a life rich with a variety of outdoor experiences is worth the effort. It doesn’t necessarily require extensive travel, although it can if you want it to. It might include an impromptu luncheon on a friend’s porch. It might include a community class on local landmarks. Perhaps a road trip or even a cruise is in order. The goal is to get outside, connect with others, and enjoy new experiences. What you do is up to you. Spring just makes it that much easier to spend more time outdoors.