Remember when you were younger and you would play outside all day long? Collecting all your neighborhood friends and playing tag, Capture the Flag, going to the playground and playing basketball or 4-square?
Did you realize you were exercising? Remember what it feels like to exercise outdoors?
So many wonderful benefits come from exercising outdoors, here are the reasons you should bring back those long summer days and nights of “playing” outside!
VITAMIN D & THE OUTDOORS
Sun exposure increases vitamin D levels in the body and helps optimize hormones.
The sun is a great source of Vitamin D! Vitamin D is especially important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones. It helps fight infection by helping your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work optimally.
According to the Vitamin D Council,
“a lack of vitamin D has also been linked to some other conditions such as cancer, asthma, type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and type-I diabetes.”
OXYGEN & EXERCISING OUTDOORS
Fresh air has more oxygen in it then indoors.
Outdoor air has more oxygen than the air we breathe indoors. Did you know, the air you breathe indoors can be destroyed by tobacco smoke, city smog fumes, improper ventilation, exhaust, and other pollutants?
Aqua 4 Balance states that negative side affects from a lack of fresh air are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and include, fatigue, drowsiness, dullness of mind and irritability.
Exercising outdoors leaves feelings of well-being and it lowers depression.
Research has shown that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. Nature increases positive thoughts and feelings of well-being and has been shown to reduce depression.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, followed a similar method to one from 2008 that showed that a one-hour walk in a woodland park improved memory and attention. WebMd states that endorphins that are released during exercise trigger “a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. The feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” Euphoria is a feeling known as a “runner’s high” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.”
Regular exercise has been proven in studies to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep.
WE LOVE SEROTONIN
Outdoor greenery raises serotonin levels.
Serotonin levels are increased when you exercise outdoors or in green spaces. What is serotonin you ask? According to Australian Lifestyle serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is important in appetite control, sleep and our general metabolism.
In nature you get more sensory stimulation than indoors.
The outdoors is constantly changing. The same path you take in one season can change drastically in another. The sounds, the sights and even the smells can improve the quality of life for the average person and especially people with mental dementia according to Alzheimer’s.org.
Get up, get outside and get active!
Alicia Bell is a Toronto based, Kinesiologist, Strength Coach and Track and Field Coach who has devoted her life to helping people reach their goals in fitness and sport. She is a nationally recognized track and field coach who coached team Canada at the Maccabi games in Israel in July of 2013. She lead the team to 13 medals. Alicia has over 10 years of practical and educational experience and is a published Fitness model for Zenzation with her pictures gracing their equipment and she leads their product DVD instruction. She is also currently featured in a nation wide New Balance Ad and Campaign.
Alicia Bell is experienced at weight loss, strength training, toning and athletic conditioning. She has worked with clients such as Dwight Howard (NBA), Rashad McCants (Former NBA), Geoff Harris (Olympic 800m runner), Lil Jon (Rapper/Dj), Karla Moy aka HustleGrl, Hill Harper (actor, author) and even the mother of the Toronto rapper Drake.
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