Getting the recommended amount of physical activity every day doesn’t have to be a chore. An easy way to make exercise fun for the whole family is by playing outside. Being active outdoors is a great way for you to reconnect with nature and stay healthy.
Why Exercise Outside?
Exercising in nature has been proven to improve one’s mental and physical health. Being outside also helps to promote higher vitamin D levels, a vitamin the body makes when skin is directly exposed to the sun. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so exercising outside can be a great way to correct that.
In addition, outdoor activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and lower stress. Exercising outside can feel less routine than working out in a gym.
Where to Go
There are many different places you can go to be active outside. You can exercise in your backyard or visit a local, state or national park.
- Walking or hiking—Go for a walk around the block after work or after dinner to get your heart pumping. Hiking and walking have been proven to improve heart health and can help you maintain a healthy waistline.
- Ride your bike—Riding a bike helps improve balance and endurance. Biking is a fun, a fun, family-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy. Consider biking to work or school to sneak in some extra exercise during the week.
- Go swimming—This low-impact activity burns more calories per hour than almost any other activity, and has been shown to improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health.
What to Bring
- Water so that you can stay hydrated, especially if it is warm outside
- Healthy snacks like nuts and carrot sticks
- Sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays
- Rain gear if rain is in the forecast
- Extra layers in case it gets cool outside
- A backpack so you can carry all of your supplies with you