Exercise and fitness

Luke Weston, Physiologist at AXA Health

Benefits and tips for exercising outdoors

Exercise and Fitness

1 July 2020

Exercising outdoors has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Whether you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just starting out, incorporating outdoor workouts into your routine can help you stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals. In this article, we will explore the benefits of exercising outdoors and provide some tips to help you make the most out of your outdoor workouts.

Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

Vitamin D: "Sun exposure is the best way to get vitamin D, and exercising outdoors can help boost your levels. Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium absorption and bone health, but it's also important for a healthy immune system and mood" says Jessica Matthews, American Council on Exercise (ACE) Senior Adviser

Improved Mood: Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can have a positive impact on mental health. "Spending time in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety, and boost overall well-being. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research found that just 30 minutes of outdoor exercise per week can have a significant positive impact on mental health." - Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, One Medical Group Physician

Increased Variety: "Working out in different environments can challenge your body in new ways and help prevent boredom. Running on a trail, for example, requires different muscles than running on a treadmill, so you'll get a more complete workout." - Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and author.

Cost Effective: Exercising outdoors is a cost-effective alternative to expensive gym memberships or personal training sessions. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and some workout clothes to get started.

Tips for Exercising Outdoors

Plan Ahead: Before heading out for your outdoor workout, make sure to plan your route, check the weather forecast, and bring any necessary equipment such as water, sunscreen, or a hat.

Start Slow: If you are new to outdoor exercise, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This will help prevent injury and ensure that you are making progress towards your fitness goals.

Mix it Up: Don’t be afraid to mix up your outdoor workouts to keep things interesting. Try running one day, cycling the next, and hiking on the weekend. This variety will help you stay motivated and engaged in your fitness routine.

Listen to Your Body: "If you feel fatigued or experience any pain or discomfort during your workout, take a break. It's better to take a short break than risk injuring yourself." - American Heart Association

Exercising outdoors has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, and is a cost-effective alternative to gym memberships or personal training sessions. By planning ahead, starting slow, mixing it up, and listening to your body, you can make the most out of your outdoor workouts and achieve your fitness goals. So grab your workout gear and head outside – your body and mind will thank you.


"6 Benefits of Outdoor Exercise," American Council on Exercise, https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6597/6-benefits-of-outdoor-exercise/

"The Power of Outdoor Exercise," One Medical Group, https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/the-power-of-outdoor-exercise/

"Why Outdoor Exercise is Good for You," CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/30/health/outdoor-exercise-benefits/index.html

"10 Tips for Exercising Outdoors," Verywell Fit, https://www.verywellfit.com/tips-for-exercising-outdoors-1231525

"The benefits and risks of exercise," Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

"How to Get Fit Without a Gym Membership," American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/how-to-get-fit-without-a-gym-membership

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