Outdoor exercise – sometimes called green exercise – provides an array of benefits beyond those seen with traditional indoor workouts. It sounds a bit fantastical, but it’s true: Performing a workout outside yields benefits beyond what you would experience by completing that same workout indoors.
One simple example: Exercising outdoors increases our exposure to sunlight, enhancing vitamin D production, which has been linked to improving mood, promoting bone health, boosting immune system function and reducing inflammation.
This past year has pushed us to get creative when finding ways to stay active. Gyms and other fitness facilities were closed, and there was a collective need to simply get out of our homes, even if only for an hour or two each day. Personal trainers and other exercise professionals adapted their programming and services to meet these changing needs.
That said, there’s no reason to move all of our workouts back inside, even as restrictions are lifted. In fact, the American Council on Exercise – along with our 90,000-plus certified professionals – has initiated a year-long, national campaign called Moving Together Outside. The campaign aims to generate support for eliminating barriers in order to use parks, school grounds and other public outdoor spaces for physical activity and exercise programs and experiences that are organized or led by qualified exercise professionals or organizations for members of their communities.
There are many benefits of working with an exercise professional in a gym or fitness facility, but adding outdoor exercise to your regimen is a great way to save money while introducing cross-training, which entails doing different types of workouts on a regular basis to drive a range of benefits. For example, you can rotate between activities such as biking, jogging, hiking and playing tennis.
It’s social and enhances accountability.
Whether you’ve promised your spouse or children that you’ll join them at the park for some family fun, joined a recreational sports league or have a standing date to meet some friends at a local trailhead every Saturday, you’ve added two vital elements to your exercise program: social support and accountability. Both of these are vital to long-term participation.
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Source: health. usnews