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The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

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We’ve all heard how exercise can help prevent cardiac problems and chronic diseases, benefits your mood, reduces stress, relives insomnia and so much more. So I think it’s safe to say that working out has a plethora of benefits for your body and mind.

Now that summer is here, it’s a great time to take your workouts outdoors and boost the benefits of exercise to a new level - physically and mentally!

How Outdoor Exercise Benefits You: 

Increased Muscle Oxygenation

As you exercise, the blood vessels in your muscles dilate and the blood flow is greater. The increased blood flow delivers more oxygenated blood to the working muscle. Now add in the warmth from being outdoors and the additional challenges that brings, you workout allows for better oxygenated muscles. Breathing outdoor brings more oxygen to the muscles with a positive impact on your physical and mental performance.

Vitamin D Production

When the sun light hits the skin, it promotes vitamin D production. This is vital for calcium absorption and, of course, for the bone tissue production, which can help in preventing and healing things such as osteoporosis. This can also provide benefits for joints and improve flexibility.

Psychophysical Benefits

Exercise outdoor has a positive impact for your  mind, gives different sensorial stimulations, prevents boredom. It also helps to improve stability with different proprioceptive stimulus. 

Burn More Calories

Our bodies can get used to repetitive movements easily. When you take your workout outside, you’re challenging your body to do something different from the usual day-to-day. It’s almost like a cold shower shock to your body. This can increase your intensity, allowing you to burn more calories during your workout than you normally would.

Improved Immunity

Commercial gyms and fitness studios can be infested with germs that can lead to many viral diseases like colds or the flu. Taking your training outside will give your body a breath of fresh air, literally.

Endorphins Production

Endorphins are considered wellness hormones; they regulate our mood, especially during stressful situations and allow a better tolerance to pain. Essentially, they act as endogenous opioids. Endorphins play a part in controlling appetite, menstrual periods, and circadian rhythms.

Exercise improves endorphins production, but not all kinds of exercise in the same way. The activities that most impact endorphins production are:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Crossfit 

It’s the high intensity of the exercise that consent to produce more endorphins. Compared to the low intensity training, the high intensity delivers a higher level production of endorphins (and an overall feeling of happiness).

This is why CrossFit, functional fitness and high intensity interval training (that can be obtained with cycling or  running or dancing) have a better impact in producing endorphins. 

With all these benefits, it’s hard to even consider walking into the gym to complete our next training! So take advantage of the summer and the sun and improve your wellness exercising outdoor!

- Jessica Rodi | OBGYN / NASM CPT | Mommy's Corner Contributor