Pleasant weathers are on the horizon! What is your favorite exercise location? With the pandemic behind us, a lot of people are switching their home workouts for gym workouts. However, we have an even better idea! Try exercising in nature!
Do you need any heavy equipment to attain your fitness goals? No? Then exercising in nature is precisely what you need. You can have an increased amount of variety in this type of exercise. You can move your home exercise routine to a better, more refreshing setting. Alternatively, you can do your daily cardio by going for a walk or a jog.
Here are 6 amazing benefits to switching the gym to an exercise in nature:
Fresh air has more oxygen for exercise
Simply put, we need a fresh stream of oxygen to be able to function! Each cell and operation of our body heavily depends on it. However, the air inside crowded gyms is often stuffier than desired. The same could be said for your own home in case you do not open your windows frequently enough! However, nature unequivocally always has a fresh oxygen supply! A perfect excuse to move your exercise routine exactly there.
Not to mention, exercise done in nature has outstanding health benefits. These may include optimized brain function, successfully removing your brain fog, and improving your thinking and concentration.
Furthermore, fresh air inhaled while exercising is good for the lungs. For instance, when sitting indoors one may start to breathe in a shallow manner. This does not allow the air to surpass the top of the lungs. However, exercise in itself makes you breathe more deeply. Exercise in nature makes you breathe the deepest! Walking or jogging increases diaphragmatic breathing. This process also helps expel toxins.
Finally, higher oxygen levels improve various bodily functions overall. These may include hormone production, tissue renewal, muscle contraction, digestion, etc. It can also help reduce airborne illness and infection since bacteria and viruses struggle to survive in a fresh air environment.
Greenscapes raise serotonin levels
Serotonin is a neurochemical facilitating the signaling of nerve cells. This chemical has a large plethora of functions, including mood, sex drive, digestion, sleep, wound healing, and bone health among others. The amount of serotonin released into our bloodstream is affected by the level of oxygen. Fresher air provides higher oxygen which yields more serotonin. This is perfect when it comes to exercise!
The higher serotonin levels after exercising in nature will improve your mood. You will feel more relaxed and refreshed after spending some time exercising outside!
Exercise in nature triggers primal regions of our brain and psyche
The primal parts of our brain consist of the hindbrain and medulla. These regions are responsible for survival, instinct, and drive. Breathing is an autonomous function of the body, localized in the brainstem. Ingesting more oxygen by means of exercise in nature will also stimulate this area more. In turn, this will also keep you more alert!
More sensory stimulation
This point is rather straightforward. Greater sensory stimulation engages our senses to a higher extent. We enjoy the green pastures and trees with our eyes. We listen to the chirping birds with our ears. Since we are engaged in exercise, we also touch the ground with our feet.
Exercising our senses in addition to our physique has amazing physical and mental effects. This improves your cognitive sharpness and increases your explorative nature. So, what are you waiting for? Exercise your senses as well as your bodies starting today!
Exercise in nature increases feelings of well-being and lowers depression
This point ties to our discussion about serotonin. This is one mechanism that improves the feeling of well-being and depression when exercising in nature. Some other neurochemicals such as dopamine and endorphins are also released when exercising in nature. Endorphins are especially relevant when it comes to experiencing the post-exercise high. However, the beneficial effects of exercise in nature stretch beyond the physiological.
Exercising in nature does not only improve self-esteem and mood but also reduces symptoms of anxiety and mood disorders. Using woods, forests, or parks to exercise has been scientifically shown to reduce poor mental health overall. On the other hand, no such effects have been found for settings that do not belong in nature, such as gyms.
Sun exposure increases vitamin D levels and helps optimize hormones
One of the main ways to increase vitamin D levels when exercising is by undertaking this action in nature. Vitamin D is essential for the regulation of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. Why is this important? The before mentioned nutrients are essential when it comes to maintaining the health of bones, teeth, and muscles. Therefore, start doing your exercise in nature now!
Exercising in nature also promotes the release of hormones such as endorphins which improve our overall wellbeing. Endorphins are to blame for the subjective experience of a post runner’s high!