10 Perks of Exercise in Green Spaces
One of the great things about summer is spending time outdoors. Why not take your workout or exercise and get outside? The following are ten great perks that come with exercising in green spaces during the summer:
1. Better Control of Pace
When walking or running outside, you have more control over your own pace. When people control their own pace, they end up moving faster than the would have indoors on a treadmill. Another benefit of walking or running outside is that the terrain changes, even if it’s subtle. In a single bout of exercise you may go uphill, downhill, and on flat ground multiple times.
2. It Feels Easier
Studies have shown that not only do people move faster when exercising outside, but it also is perceived as easier to complete. When it feels easier, you are more likely to challenge yourself. The perception of the activity being easier when outside leads to the ability to challenge yourself more often. It also increases the enjoyment of the activity. This leads to wanting to do it more and for longer periods.
3. Social Interaction
Many times when we are inside, we are in our own little world and isolated from those around us. However, when we take our exercise outside we are more likely to engage with other people. This social interaction helps to increase your enjoyment of the activity and how often you find yourself participating.
4. It Is Revitalizing
You feel more positive and engaged. Being outside boosts your mood and helps increase energy levels. People feel a higher revitalization after exercise in green spaces.
5. It Is Good for Your Self-Esteem.
Exercising outside has been linked to improved self-esteem and decreased negative moods including depression, tension, and anger. These benefits apply to all levels of exercise from low intensity to high.
6. Increases Your Sense of Well-Being
Exercise done in a green environment has been shown to positively impact your sense of well-being, heart health, immune system, and even recovery time.
7. It Is Great for Mental Health
There are positive effects on your general mental health, psychological well-being, anxiety, stress, or depression when exercising outside. Being outside positively influences both your well-being and perceived well-being.
8. It Helps With Sleep
Exposure to sunlight during the day helps you to sleep better and longer at night.
9. It Is Good for Your Bone Health
Spending time outdoors increases your levels of vitamin D production which is crucial to bone health and metabolism.
10. You Are More Likely to Stick With It
Exercise done outdoors has mood boosting properties and higher levels of enjoyment. These are key factors in establishing a routine and sticking with it. When you are enjoying what you are doing, you are more likely to continue participating. Find the right outdoor activity for you. There are many great options to choose from.
Ottawa is a great community for taking your activity outside with many excellent green space options for physical activity. You could take a walk on the pathways that run along the river or the canal, rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat at Dow’s Lake, or go swimming at one of the area beaches. There are also great outdoor fitness classes available throughout Ottawa. On Wednesdays during the lunch hour from May until August, Lululemon hosts free yoga classes on Parliament Hill. If early mornings are better for you, there is are free weekly Wednesday morning workouts hosted by Work It YOW at Parliament Hill. On Sunday mornings, free stadium workouts are being hosted at Lansdowne. There are many ways to get out and active this summer in the Ottawa area, so why not take your workout outside?!
This article was originally posted in the July/August Issue of OSCAR.