Move It Monday: Exercise Outdoors

monday

From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

There’s no substitute for being outdoors. The fresh air, the sunshine, the cool breeze — it’s all invigorating, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside. This Monday, let nature be your gymnasium by adding some outside-activities to your workout routine.

Exercising in a park or wooded area, especially during the summer months, is an excellent way to experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of nature while also getting in your daily physical activity.

But what can you do to stay fit outdoors? A whole lot. Sure, you can start with a simple jog to warm up, but there are many more interesting/exhilarating activities you can do outside, depending on the type of adventure you seek.

Biking

Even at a leisurely pace, biking offers a number of health benefits including increased cardiovascular ability and muscle strength, decreased stress levels, and improved posture and mobility. When riding in the park, try to wear bright or fluorescent colors so that pedestrians can easily see you from a distance away.

Gardening

Weeding, planting, watering, and harvesting can do you a lot of good. Gardening has been shown to improve vitamin D exposure, boost mood, and reduce risk of dementia. Squatting, bending, and sweating is good for the soul as well as joint health and mobility.

Lawn Sports

Frisbee, croquet, and horseshoes don’t have to be relegated to backyard cookouts. These leisurely sports can be a great source of low-intensity physical activity. They’re mobile, simple to set up, and they can be quite entertaining if you’ve got a competitive side.

Nature Hike

It can be through a park, wooded area, or even your own backyard, taking a nature hike (or walk) is one-part physical activity, one-part stress relief. Call your local park service; they should be able to direct you to a list of approved trails and hikes.

Swimming

Lake, pond, or pool, swimming is a great aerobic exercise that will keep you cool and refreshed (and maybe a little out of breath). Try doing laps or make a game out of it if you’re with a friend or partner.

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