Why You Should Be Exercising Outside

Now that the weather is finally looking up, we should be spending the majority of our time outside. Not just because we’ve been cooped up indoors, bundled up in sweats for what seems like way more time than we should be, but because new research-backed news is saying that “green exercise” may be the best way to lose weight, feel great and even get smarter.

There’s several reasoning’s behind this. One new development is finding that if you’re working are outside, chances are, you won’t blow off your next workout. An Ohio State University study has suggested that you’re 23 percent more likely to repeat an outside exercise session.

The study compared a group of twenty-something year old women doing the same workout indoors, versus outside. The group working out outside was more likely to repeat their workout, citing that they found that it was more fun.

Now that you know that working out outdoors is better, try working out outdoors in the morning. The Lighting Research Center in Troy, New York found that a natural a.m. light workout session resets your circadian rhythms, making it easier for you to fall asleep, and get a good rest that night.

Not only will an outdoor workout wake you up, but your outdoor workout will seem easier. A study conducted in Environmental Science & Technology found that cyclists rated a ride 10 percent easier with a green (outdoor) backdrop, likely due to nature’s calming effect.

Not only is nature calming, but it’s a mood booster as well. A study conducted at a University of Essex found that just five minutes of outdoor exercise can make you happier and confident, which are emotions that can turn your whole day around.

In addition to all of that good stuff, researchers at the University of Utah believe that outdoor exercise may make you more creative. After a four-day hike, without technology, people did 50 percent better on creativity tests. Just an hour of nature time can make you that much smarter.

And finally, my biggest incentive to get out and work out in the sunshine is this: ten percent of gym surfaces tested positive for staph bacteria. Working out outside eliminates the stress of contracting a virus. As a dedicated germophobe, that’s all the encouragement I need.

So what are you waiting for? Get out, and go for a run, outside.

Ally Batista | Elite.

Twitter: @allybatista

Photo Credit: Getty Images