The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise


Exercising outdoors has long been a favourite activity by many people, whether its the legendary outdoor gym of Venice Beach California, or a 5KM obstacle race, to yoga, pilates and Bootcamps, people love training out doors. And quite often for the fit pro, its free rental space! A double win.

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Weight Loss

California Pacific Orthopedic and Sports Medicine released a study that showed that people who exercise outside tend to have success with weight and body fat loss. On average, people who participated in the study by exercising outdoors lost more than 7 pounds and more than 6 percent of their body fat. The obstacles, inclines and valleys that change throughout the course of outdoor exercise can help you lose weight and body fat more quickly than the environment of a flat, controlled environment.

Personal Well-Being

Outdoor exercise can improve your self-esteem and put you in a better mood. If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, seasonal affective disorder or depression, regular outdoor exercise may help to substantially increase your mood level. Your relaxation and concentration levels can also benefit from exercising outdoors.

Vitamin D

Sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D. Limited amounts of sunlight can increase your body’s vitamin D levels and reduce the risk of rickets, asthma, thyroid disease and autoimmune disorders. Some forms of psoriasis are improved with increased sun exposure. Since vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a lack of the vitamin is associated with osteoporosis. Exercise increases bone strength, and outdoor exercise can help your body process bone- and muscle-strengthening calcium. Always use precaution to avoid sunburn when exercising outside.


People who stop exercising because of the boredom or monotony of indoor workouts can benefit from outdoor exercise. Instead of using a stationary bike inside, for example, trail riding or mountain biking will add a change of scenery, terrain and atmosphere. Running and jogging on trails can also add variety to your routine. Even calisthenics, yoga and walking can be more interesting in ever-changing outdoor environments.

Jet Lag

A study published in 1996 in “Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine” revealed that cockpit crewmembers could benefit from outdoor exercise. Jet lag, a condition caused by travel through multiple time zones at high speeds, creates a disruption of bodily rhythms. Crewmembers were studied after traveling by jet between Tokyo and Los Angeles. Those who participated in outdoor exercise experienced quicker relief of jet lag symptoms than those who stayed indoors.

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