Being outdoors and immersed in the natural world is conducive to happiness. Studies show that escaping the stressors of urban environments, from noise to pollution, and choosing to, instead, spend time in the tranquil wild improves our mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is easy to see why those wanting to pursue and improve their physical fitness would also prefer to do so outdoors since they would not only gain physical benefits but mental benefits too.
Some, however, remain unsure. How, they might ask, can I improve my fitness without the curated design of gym spaces? This is a common question and individuals are likely to become attached to the safety and certainty that urban gym spaces, as well as the equipment they host, offer to individual fitness regimes.
Exercising outdoors does take a small amount of research and one must of course figure out how their physical goals, such as losing weight or increasing stamina, will translate from the gym to the natural environment. To demonstrate how it can be done, as well as why it is also recommended, we’re sharing the best ways to keep fit by exercising in nature.
One of the most accessible and popular methods of exercising outdoors is running. It is accessible because of its affordability, requiring only a pair of shoes and comfortable clothing, and can be enjoyed year-round promising the weather is accommodating.
It is a high-impact workout that improves cardiovascular health, quality of sleep, and even mood. Many individuals may already include running in their workout regime using treadmills, and this exercise can be easily transferred to a local trail or popular running route. It is extremely important, especially when running in the sunshine, to remember to stay hydrated.
Some individuals will be seeking a low-impact workout, one that is potentially more beginner friendly than running, which is where swimming comes in. Swimming, as a whole body workout, has often been celebrated for its accessibility, welcoming those of varying fitness levels to begin in the water.
As an exercise, it improves muscle fitness, lung health, and generally tones the body, making it ideal for those looking to lose weight or generally improve their body’s wellbeing.
Kayaking & Rowing
For those looking to pursue a more specific regime, kayaking and rowing are ideal activities because they target upper body strength, exerting arms and shoulders, as well as the core. Since the majority of both activities require the use and rotation of the back, torso, and arms, individuals generally find that, when enjoying the activity, their fitness and ability in these areas quickly improves, building and defining muscle.
There are a number of reasons why individuals might begin cycling with one of the most obvious being that it doubles as a mode of transport. This means that, alongside the health benefits and leg strength the activity brings, it can easily be incorporated into a daily routine because it allows individuals to exercise and travel.