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Jun 5, 2014

The Great Outdoors: Three Reasons to Take Your Workout Outside

When summer (finally!) rolls around every year, the warm breeze and sunshine make it almost painful to spend time cooped up indoors. That’s why summer is the perfect time to head outdoors for a workout. Whether it’s jogging, hiking, a game of softball, or simply chasing your kids around the park, getting your heart rate up in the fresh air has loads of benefits.

1. It’s a better workout
Exercising in “green space”, whether it’s in a park, the mountains, or your own backyard, can make your workout feel easier than when done indoors. But while the workout feels easier, it’s actually working your body harder. The resistance you get when using gym machines is exactly the same every time. When you take your workout outside, you’re surrounded by unpredictable variables. Everything from wind resistance to uneven terrain can work muscles and tendons that normally get overlooked at the gym.

2. Sunlight is good for your brain
Studies have shown that as little as five minutes spent exercising in “green space” can be enough to make you feel happier and less stressed for the entire day! This could be due to increased oxygen from fresh air, which boosts production of serotonin in the brain. Not only will you be feeling good, but a morning workout outdoors can also help reset your body’s circadian rhythm, helping you sleep better.

3. Increase in Vitamin D
When it comes to vitamins, Vitamin D is a bit of a show off. The list of benefits from getting the proper amount Vitamin D is long and impressive, including things like strong bones, improved immune system, and lower risks of diabetes, heart attack, MS, and several types of cancer. What’s even better is you can get the necessary Vitamin D in just 10 minutes out in the sun.

Just like dining al fresco makes everything taste better, fresh air makes exercising better, too. So get outside and take advantage of the warm air, sunshine, and longer days. Let’s get the most out of summer and get moving!

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