Why You Should Exercise Outdoors
With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, many people are choosing to take their fitness routines outdoors, and for good reason! Physical activity can do wonders for your health in a variety of different areas:
- Everyday energy levels
- Mood and mental health
- Prevention of certain diseases
Moving exercise sessions outdoors may be even more beneficial to your health. Some studies show that exercising outdoors boosts your mood and relieves stress even more than doing the same exercise indoors. Plus, it’s an easy way to boost your vitamin D levels since you’ll get more sun exposure!
Exercising outdoors may also make it easier to start up a new fitness habit or increase your active time. One study showed that people who exercised outdoors enjoyed the sessions more and felt that they were less strenuous than equally challenging indoor exercise sessions. These differences in perception may make you more likely to want to exercise. You might be motivated to bump up the intensity of your activity as well!
Sun Safety for Outdoor Exercise
While you can experience a plethora of health benefits from exercising outdoors, it does put you at risk of overexposure to the sun. Excessive damage from the sun’s rays can accelerate skin aging and increase your risk of melanoma, so it’s very important to practice sun safety when you’re working out.
Follow these tips and you can have a fun and safe time exercising outside:
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it regularly: every 80 minutes if sweating or swimming, every 2 hours otherwise.
- Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
- Exercise in the shade if it’s an option.
- Wear a hat and tightly woven clothing that you can’t see through easily.
- Work out before 10AM or after 4PM if possible, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong.