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December 25, 2023

The Benefits Of Outdoor Workouts And Mental Health

Posted In: Fitness & Wellness

Outdoor workouts benefit your physical and mental health. It’s easier in the summer when it’s warm but not nearly as easy when the cold winds of winter start to blow. If you’re an indoor person, no matter the time of year, don’t start with a full day of tough workouts in the great outdoors if the weather is extreme, especially if you have a health condition. You conditioned your body to the moderate indoor temperature where the temperature volleys between 70 and 72. Start with a short walk for a few days and gradually increase your time. You’ll get mental health benefits from the sun no matter the time of year.

Studies show that walking outside surrounded by greenery improves your mood.

Very little is green outside in New Jersey during the winter, and you don’t get the full benefit of the sun. Not only is it too cold to expose much skin to the sun, but it’s also too far north. From November to February, everything above the 37th parallel, approximately everything north of Atlanta, GA, can’t get enough vitamin D. The sun doesn’t rise high enough on the horizon, so it’s not direct enough to facilitate the absorption of the mood-improving D vitamin. The summer greenery has died away and snow has covered the ground. Don’t be discouraged. There’s more to sun exposure than just vitamin D.

Fresh air and sunshine still exist in the winter.

Maybe you won’t absorb enough vitamin D from the sun to get those benefits, but you will still get the bright light of the sun reflecting off the snow. SAD—seasonal affective disorder—is a disorder that occurs because there’s not enough sun to produce adequate serotonin levels. Melatonin levels become unbalanced. It affects mood and sleep patterns. That can cause weight gain, reduced energy, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and irritability. Lack of sunshine can also cause depression and sleep disorders.

No matter what time of year, exercising in the great outdoors can boost your mood.

The sunshine can be even brighter on a crisp, snow-covered day. That is mood elevating. It may seem brighter in the summer when it’s reflecting off the concrete, but that’s only a tiny percentage of the sun’s reflection. The reflection off of the snow is 100%. Exercising outside improves your mood throughout the year. The sunshine and fresh air provide more than just vitamin D. It elevates your mood.

  • Working out in cold temperatures can help change the stubborn white fat on the thigh and belly into brown fat that burns calories. Exercising outdoors can help get rid of belly fat.
  • One of the benefits of exercising outside in the summer is the ability to take off your shoes and walk on the grass for grounding. You’ll build your endurance when you exercise outside in the cold weather.
  • When you workout amidst the beauty of Mother Nature, you’ll recharge your mental energy. Open your eyes to the beauty of winter to get the same mental boost.
  • Take precautions, dress in layers, and remove them as you get warmer. Increase your safety by wearing shoe traction cleats to prevent falls on snow or ice.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio