5 Ways Exercising Outdoors Helps Your Mind and Body

outdoor exercise abs

Here’s why doing exercise outdoors is a good idea

When you think of the outdoors, does your mind conjure up images of fishing, camping or hiking? Do you envision lakes and streams? If the answer is yes, I’m right there with you.

The truth is, I love being in nature. If given the choice between sitting in my air-conditioned home or walking through the woods on a muggy day, I’d pick the outdoor option every time.

Maybe you can relate?

All of this brings me to the reason I penned this piece. You see, for the past year, I’ve been exercising outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, I still go to the gym.

But if there is an activity I can do outside, like rope jumping, push ups or abs, I try to make it happen.

Here’s why. I’ve read plenty of research in scholarly journals and on well-respected health sites to suggest that spending time outdoors (Eco-Therapy) is good for body and mind.

Wanting to productive, I figured coupling physical activity with mother nature might offer unique benefits. What I’ve discovered is simply this – exercising outside can help in five unique ways.

Here’s how:

1. You don’t get bored

The first thing I learned when crunching abs nearby public park is how fun the experience can be. You see, when I do ab work at the gym, it gets boring REAL FAST.

But when you bang out a set of twenty-five crunches outdoors, you’ve got plenty of scenery to occupy your attention. That’s because in nature, the environment is constantly changing.

Examples include not seeing the same clouds passing overhead each day or being aware of slight variances in temperature. Depending on weather conditions, doing certain exercises can even present a challenge. Try doing lunges in the wind and you’ll see what I mean.

2. You save money

You may be wondering how exercising outside saves me money? It’s simple. Instead of having to spend dough on anxiety reducing meditation classes, I’ve discovered that stretching outside while inhaling fresh air calms my nerves.

I know that may sound silly but when you look at money through the prism of time (aka: time equals money), it makes perfect sense. If you live a busy life, finding ways to maximize your productivity is important. Know what I mean?

3. You meet new people

In the year I’ve been exercising outside, I’ve met lots of cool people. Examples include the new neighbors who live several houses down and the grandmother who picks up recyclables (glass and aluminum cans).

Because I’m married, I’m not “on the market”. That said, I have met singles who – if I weren’t attached – might be good candidates for dating.

Isn’t it better to bump into someone in a situation where you already know there exists a shared interest, like exercise, as opposed to figuring out “match areas”?

Food for thought.

athletic man stretching outdoors exercise
Outdoor exercise revitalizes me

4. You feel feel revitalized

One of the most powerful benefits that I’ve experienced exercising outdoors is how revitalized I feel. There’s just something about being outside that recharges my batteries.

It’s not like I’m out there long – maybe twenty to thirty minutes. But in that short time span, the combination of physical activity and nature (somehow) makes me feel happy.

Not long ago, a study came out that explored the relationship between being outdoors while exercising. You can check out the science here.

5. Helps creativity

As a writer, I rely on my creative abilities a great deal. In the absence of that creativity, I’m kind of useless. If you’ve ever struggled with writer’s block, you know exactly what I mean.

That’s where exercising outdoors comes in handy. You see, when you do pull-ups in a public park, crunch your abs on a wooden plank, or do tricep dips on a bench, you see life happening all around you. In turn, this can stimulate creative your creative juices.

That’s how it works for me, however, it may help you in other ways. Much depends on your line of work and interest areas. I suppose it’s all connected to mindfulness.

Wrap Up

Everyone knows exercise is an essential part of wellness. But few know (at least in my experience) that combining the outdoors with physical fitness can yield hidden benefits.

Hopefully, what I’ve shared here will inspire you to try exercising outdoors. Ask yourself, what do you have to lose?

About Andy Seaborn 27 Articles
Andy Seaborn is a Seattle based freelance writer who blogs about relationships, parenting and men's issues. When he's not writing, he's usually spending time with his family outdoors. Look for pieces that focus on a variety of topics.