You know the Earth-appreciation rules: Recycle as much as you can. Try not to drive as much. Don’t waste water. Work to lower your carbon footprint. And... exercise? Absolutely! Taking your workout outside for a time or two can do wonders for you, for your family, and even for the environment.
Think for a moment about how inside-oriented our society is. Most of us spend most of our time inside working, and when we’re not working we like to spend time relaxing in front of a screen. And when we do decide to go somewhere, guess what? We’re inside a vehicle. One study found that Americans spend a whopping 93% of our time inside either a building or our car. But don’t get us wrong – we LOVE seeing you for trainer sessions a few times per week. And to be honest, we’d miss you if you weren’t here. However, every so often, venturing outside for a workout can be a great idea.
- You know how spending time outside can help you to appreciate nature and the earth? Well, if you grab the kids and take them with you for your speed-walk or jog you’re passing on a healthy, earth-honoring legacy. Bonus if you take the young’uns out of the neighborhood and into some “real” nature.
- Being outside helps you combat depression, no medication required. It can give your endorphins level a boost, increase your level of mindfulness, and can reduce tension.
- Taking your workout outdoors helps ensure you have a healthy vitamin D level. Vitamin D (actually a hormone rather than a vitamin) is generated in our bodies directly from the sun. It turns out that all the hype about vitamin D is for good reason. You probably know that it helps your body to absorb calcium more efficiently (hello, stronger bones and teeth). You may not realize, however, that decreased levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, autoimmune disorders, weight gain, certain cancers, and more.
- Tossed between the trail and the treadmill? Choose the outdoors whenever you can. Not only do you get to enjoy all the other benefits from being outside, but running or walking outside is actually a better workout due to the trail variations and the unpredictable inclines and downhill slopes.
- Getting up close and personal with an exercise bike (or other indoor equipment) can increase your risk for getting sick; and we’re talking the nasty stuff: herpes simplex, MRSA, and ringworm. These bad germs like to hang around gyms, increasing your risk for catching them. Conversely, taking your exercise outside once in a while actually increases your immune system, making your that much more ready to tackle your trainer session head-on. With some hand sanitizer, in tow, of course.
Our world’s nature holds so many benefits for its inhabitants. We think that Earth Day is the perfect excuse to take your workout out into the sunshine. Your health, your kids, and the planet will all be better off for it.