You know that staying fit is vital to your health, such as by improving your sleep quality, but there are good reasons to skip the gym session and take their workout to nature. It offers many benefits, boosting physical, emotional – and even spiritual – wellbeing, whether you’re a student, patient or doctor. You’ll get fresh air, sunshine, and perhaps even a mood boost or two. Stanford University researchers found that being in nature reduces rumination, which is what happens when you can’t stop thinking certain thoughts, such as those which make you feel sad. An example is, perhaps, thoughts about how negatively you feel about your body since you’ve put on weight. If these thoughts continue, they can cause depression. Short walks in nature lower these thoughts, keeping you happy. So, take your workout outdoors.
Clear Your Head
When you take your workout outside, you can feel more positive thoughts and calmness, which is what exercise and its endorphins should do after a busy day at the office. A study in the Environmental Science and Technology journal found that a 30-minute walk caused 71 percent of people to feel less stress, as compared to 72 percent of people who increased their stress when they walked indoors!
When you tune out of your worries by spending time alone in peaceful nature, you also give yourself a chance to feel more spiritual. You feel part of a greater universe, which is sure to refuel your soul.
You Get Healthier
You always hear of the dangers of air pollution, but scientists say there are airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them against bacteria and fungus. These chemicals can also be good for humans. Research has found that when people took walks of two hours in length in the forest, they were able to increase their natural cells that kill viruses and bacteria by 50 percent!
You Improve Your Body Image
If you’re exercising to lose weight because you lack confidence in your body’s appearance, exercising outdoors can actually help to boost your fitness as well as body image. Research has found that working out in nature boosts one’s self-esteem. As a fitness instructor or personal trainer, you want your clients to feel that they’re gaining much more than a fitter body, such as a healthier level of confidence, which is why taking workouts outside can be good every now and then.
You might not think of exercise or nature as being a gateway to spirituality, but both can be. This is because exercising in nature offers benefits similar to meditation. During meditation, you clear your mind and you do the same thing during outdoor exercise. Just think of how you focus on the steps you’re taking while letting your five senses absorb the world around you. Having this “time out” is a great way to gain other meditative benefits, such as increased concentration and self-awareness that can help you and your clients achieve a spiritual awakening.
You Inhale More Oxygen
The last thing you or your clients need is the stuffy air in a gym! When you breathe fresh air during outdoor workout, you increase your energy levels – which is just what you need to complete your 5K run or do another set of pushups. Research has found that being surrounded by nature increases 90 percent of people’s energy. So, instead of reaching for that sugary drink or cup of coffee to finish your workout, take a few deep breaths outside. It’s so much healthier!
There’s a link between working out in nature and spirituality, such as feeling calmer, more in tune with one’s self, and healthier. This is why it can be an interesting and creative addition to your personal fitness program, making exercise much more fun for your clients.
Written by Sally Writes