We all know that moving our bodies is good for us. But studies have shown that green exercise, which is physical activity done outdoors in natural environments, has benefits for our mind and body that go far beyond those you experience when you exercise indoors. And the best part is you don’t even have to do anything extreme. Just being outside and moving can help you reap those rewards.
Green Exercise goes well beyond the physical benefits. Outdoor exercise makes people happier, less fatigued and angry, more tranquil and relaxed, and generates a more lasting energy boost compared to indoor exercise. It boosts our mood and even increases our self esteem.
One of the biggest benefits we get from green exercise is a sense of renewal and restoration. Both getting outdoors and exercising allow us to get into a deeper meditative state and focus on the present moment. When we combine the two, it gives us a greater opportunity to shut down our daily stressors, our negative thoughts & worries, and our running to-do lists and just connect to our bodies and the natural world around us.
Basically, green exercise helps to restore us by bringing us back to ourselves. And that reconnection goes a long way in helping us to feel well and good.
Here are a few steps to start adding more Green Exercise into your life:
• Start small. Even a short time moving outdoors can have an impact — one study found the first five minutes of green exercise had the biggest positive psychological impact.
• Get creative. Think of the ways you already enjoy exercising and get creative on how to bring that activity outdoors. Maybe it’s investing in lightweight exercise equipment that you can bring outside with you or finding ways to incorporate nature into your routine. (Hill sprints, anyone?)
• Join a group. Find a crew who is looking to enjoy the outdoors with you. Whether you love walking, running, hiking, climbing, yoga or just general group fitness, you’re bound to find a group that is perfect for you. Check out Meetup.com or search Instagram for groups that are a good fit.
• Recreate responsibly. Exercising outdoors can be a safer choice than indoor gyms, especially with Covid-19 surging in many parts of the world. But remember to always respect others and the environment when you’re spending time outdoors.
Do you enjoy exercising outdoors? What’s your favorite way to engage in green exercise?
Meet The team
Eddie Bauer One Outside Guide
A marketing consultant and leadership coach, Nailah never thought of herself as an outdoorsy person. But when she found herself dealing with the stresses of building a new business, being a new mother, and living in a new state away from all her family and friends, she and her husband started exploring local trails. It was an epiphany. The outdoors helped her slow down, listen to her heart, and reconnect with her passion.