Creating an exercise program that does not feel like a chore is a difficult task. Walking on a treadmill or spending half an hour on a stair-climber can feel like a boring routine. Outdoor exercise has many benefits for the body including adding a little change to dull routine.
There are many ways to include outdoor exercise into your routine. Walking to work or to school is a terrific way to burn calories. If work is too far away to walk, driving to a location near work and walking from there is always an option. Jogging or walking in a park near home is a great way to explore nature. Recent studies have shown that time spent outdoors, especially in forest areas, can actually elevate mood and decrease depression symptoms. Exposure to fresh air and nature can have a positive effect on a person’s mood.
Exercising does not have to mean running around a park or trail. Walking the dog for a few blocks in the neighborhood is a great way to meet neighbors and get exercise. Stopping to talk to people encountered along the way also has a positive effect on mood. Spending time with a favorite pet creates a type of exercise that a person can look forward to accomplishing.
There are many other types of exercise that can be enjoyed outdoors. These include sports like golf or soccer, hockey, skiing and hiking. No matter what the weather or climate of an area, there are outdoor activities that can provide excellent exercise. Hiking, especially in mountainous areas, is the perfect way to burn calories. Hiking is a low-impact exercise which causes very little strain on joints and muscles. Hiking can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels with very little equipment or cost. By joining hiking clubs, people can travel all over the country to meet new friends and enjoy new trails.
Mountain climbing or rock climbing is also great exercise. This type of workout actually builds muscle while burning calories at an excellent rate. Rock climbing utilizes many different muscle groups and creates a lean body. Exercises like rock climbing increase the body’s metabolism by building lean muscle. Downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are also exciting exercise performed during the winter months. When many people are stuck climbing stairs at the gym, an accomplished skier can enjoy the snowy days while exercising.
Horseback riding and swimming are also good ways to burn calories while enjoying the outdoors. Horseback riding trails are available in many areas, and horses can be rented on an hourly basis. This form of exercise takes some practice and skill but is considered to be very entertaining. Swimming is a form of total-body exercise that increases lean muscle and burns calories. Swimmers tend to have lean bodies and get a great cardiovascular workout when exercising. Swimming is a healthy way to lose weight and enjoy outdoor exercise.