- YOU SIMPLY BURN MORE CALORIES OUTDOORS
“You burn around 7 percent more calories running outside than indoors on a treadmill” according to Dr John Porcari, Director of the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin, taking wind resistance, terrain and variations in temperature into account. Plus, when people train outdoors, they tend to spend longer doing it. An outdoor fitness science study found that people who were active outside did at least 30 minutes more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week than those who only did it inside. It also made them feel healthier.
2. SEEING ‘GREEN’ BOOSTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
A visual colour perception study by the University of Essex, reveals the positive well-being effects of exercising in a visually ‘green’ environment, “The colour green, a primitive visual feature of natural environments, contributes to a positive green exercise effect“. Moreover a small 2015 study found that people who walked for 90 minutes outside were less likely to ruminate on their problems and had less activity in the brain area linked to depression, compared to people who took similar walks, but in urban areas.
3. IT IMPROVES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM & YOU BOOST YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS
Some outdoor fitness science research suggests that when people are outdoors in nature, they inhale aromatic compounds from plants called phytoncides. These can increase their number of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that supports the immune system. These cells are also believed to be important in fighting infections and inflammation, a common marker of disease, “In one study researchers found that people who took a long walk through a forest for two days in a row increased their natural killer cells by 50%“. Unlike when you exercise indoors in a gym environment, being out in the fresh air open spaces exposes you to vitamin D which brings its own set of health benefits. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones but it also has an important part to play in muscle health and even immune function too.
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