Goodbye snowy winter and welcome, lovely spring. It’s that time of year again, when spring’s warmth melts Maryland’s lingering snow/ice, bare trees bloom beautiful flowers and the great outdoors beckons once again. Now is the time to take your workouts outside and boost your fitness. Spring offers considerable benefits when it comes to an outdoor exercise regimen.
Push It Real Good
The outdoors has a magical way of getting people to put more effort into their workout without even recognizing it. Recent studies have provided evidence that suggests that participating in physical activity in a natural environment, may help an individual achieve a greater intensity of exercise without the perception of effort changing, partly because the outdoor environment increases enjoyment, offers social interaction and increases the frequency of physical activity.
Nature’s Refreshing Appeal
The outdoors screams natural, green, sunlight and open, which is good for both the mind and body. In spring, you can find the beautiful sounds of birds and the ocean, sights of exquisite blooms of flowers and wildlife, and calming spaces to rejuvenate the body and spirit. The Institute of Medicine contends that exposure to plants and flowers nourishes a sense of well-being, by enabling people to feel calmer and more relaxed. Spring is the season of refreshment and revival.
Natural Setting is Better than a Gym
The gym can be a dull, crowded place, and can stifle enthusiasm. Taking your workout outdoors is more enjoyable because it allows you to be more dynamic with your exercise programs and you can avoid gym equipment altogether. One review of studies comparing participation in physical activity in natural environments with physical activity indoors, confirms that participants reported greater enjoyment and positive engagement exercising outdoors.
Jazz up Your Mood
The link between outdoor exercise and mental health is a positive one that continues to be proven. Simply being in nature, you realize its calming effect; add exercise in that environment and you boost that benefit significantly. Doing your workout outdoors helps with short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, according to one study, and in effect, improves mood. This amounts to a natural way to lift your mood in a natural environment.
Cheaper than a Gym Membership
Some of the gym memberships out there are just too expensive. Working out outdoors saves you money because you don’t have to worry about a monthly membership fee. A better investment would be to buy a good pair of running or walking shoes or exercise mat.
Exercising in the natural environment has many wonderful benefits that a typical gym may not provide. It pushes you to work harder, leaves you feeling more refreshed, and is capable of jazzing up your mood, cost-effective and far more pleasant than the inside of a gym. Spring is the ideal time to get outdoors and sweat up a storm.