It’s been a strange and stressful year for many of us, and it helps to have an outlet. Research shows that physical activity can lower stress levels and help us cope with things like depression and anxiety. It’s even better when you do it outside—exercising outdoors appears to boost our mood and energy levels more than doing so indoors (Environmental Science & Technology). Take advantage of the next beautiful day and try one of these four outdoor workouts.
These five quick whole-body exercises will get your heart rate up using just a picnic table and your body weight. Try two to three rounds for an even more effective workout.
If you have a trail or path near you, it’s the perfect time to enjoy some scenery and work out in nature. Take your walk, hike, or jog up a notch by warming up with these dynamic stretches and adding on some extra challenges, such as high knees and hill sprints.
Playgrounds* aren’t just for kids. Use the monkey bars, ladders, and a jump rope to enjoy this outdoor workout. Better yet, bring a friend and relive your childhood memories together. (Just remember to keep your distance if the friend is from another household.)
Love the track? Loathe the track? Wonder what to do on the track? If your school or community has a track, you don’t just have to run circles around it—here are several ideas to get more out of an outdoor track workout.
*Note: Follow your local public health guidelines and always thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching public equipment.[survey_plugin] Article sources
Coon, J. T., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., et al. (2011). Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental well being than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environmental Science & Technology, 45(5), 1761–1772.
Mayo Clinic. (2017, September 27). Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495