Can Outdoor Activities Improve Your Overall Well-Being?

The physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise are immense. But did you know that you can leverage these benefits more by exercising outside rather than indoors? Studies have identified that outdoor activities lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate while uplifting mood and mental health. In this article at Virginia Tech, Max Esterhuizen explains why you should spend time in nature.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Activities

Reduces Stress

Spending time in nature and natural light improves your mood and reduces stress and depression. Exercising outdoors minimizes the production of stress hormones and enhances concentration.

Improves Self-Esteem

Exercising outdoors stimulate all five senses in a way that indoor activities cannot. Researchers find that the first five minutes of nature exercises will positively impact mood and self-esteem.

Boosts Physical Health

Outdoor exercises have been linked to increased fitness and cardiovascular functioning. Furthermore, it reduces blood pressure, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. Studies also reveal that outdoor sports and activities are associated with increased life quality.

Outdoor Activities Increases Vitamin-D Levels

According to reports, Vitamin D prevents health issues such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart attack, and stroke. However, overexposing yourself to sunlight can damage your skin. Remember, you only need 10-15 minutes of sun every day during the warm weather.

Strengthens Social Connections

Outdoor exercises will help you connect with people in your community. This can foster a sense of connection and a strong community identity.

Summer outdoor aerobic and strength activities can be wide-ranging, from taking a walk with the family or throwing a ball with a dog,” says Esterhuizen while quoting Samantha Harden, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise and a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist.

Outdoor exercises can help you connect with nature and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. To read more about the benefits of outdoor physical activities, click on

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