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Best Ways to Exercise in Nature

Health

With the winter weather starting to break, there will be more opportunities for getting outside and enjoying the warmer temperatures. The cold months spent mostly indoors can lead to weight gain, boredom, and even depression for many of us. Now is the time to begin the shift to exercising in the fresh air, a time of rejuvenation, clearing our heads, and preparing for the promise of spring.

Those working from home or within a community workspace like Shift Workspaces may have more autonomy with their schedule and excellent amenities. Yet, many neglect the needs of their bodies and mental health. Regular exercise gets the muscles moving and is good for maintaining heart and mental health, staving off chronic diseases, lowering high blood pressure, and burning calories.

What’s Your Favorite Outdoor Exercise?

When you find a physical activity that you enjoy and combine it with nature, it can be a win-win situation, encouraging you to be more consistent and motivated. Explore the nature trails in your area to find the best surfaces and surroundings for your chosen activity, and first, make sure that you have the proper shoes and gear as necessary.

Diehard enthusiasts take advantage of the winter months and get their exercise with outside sports like skiing and skating, while for others, a brisk walk on safe surfaces is gentler to the joints while still providing health benefits. Early spring offers more opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors while giving your body a workout.

1.     Walking

Current guidelines recommend thirty minutes for a brisk daily walk, with the target of five days per week. Walking is easiest on the joints and helps to build up bone health and cardiovascular endurance. Keep in mind that the longer you walk, you burn more calories. All that’s required is a good pair of athletic shoes.  

2.     Hiking

Hiking uses a lot more leg muscle due to more varied terrain and provides a wonderful outlet for relaxing in nature while enjoying cardiovascular benefits. Research to find the best hiking trails suited to your level of ability. More preparation is needed, from equipping yourself with the correct footwear to a supply of water, bug repellant, and layered clothing.

3.     Jogging or Running

Either jogging or running is excellent for improving stamina, burning calories, and strengthening your heart and lungs. Although a great way to lose weight and strengthen your core, there can be a downside. Muscles take longer to adapt to the demands of running, and jogging can be jarring on the joints, so start off slowly and build up your resistance. Good quality running shoes and a sports bra for women are highly recommended.

4.     Cycling

With a comfortable, adequately sized bicycle, cycling can be exhilarating. Great for the quadriceps, cycling combines the added health benefits with more expansive scenery. Some even ride their bikes to work. There is a more significant initial investment, and basic bike repair knowledge is strongly recommended. It is advisable to seek out a reputable bicycle store to fit your machine, helmet, and gloves properly.

5.     Water Sports

The warmer weather invites water activities, from the pleasure of lake or ocean swimming to more costly water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and water skiing.

Whatever your choice, being out in nature is a great way place to get some exercise, even if you are performing annual spring chores or taking a short break from work. Not only are there excellent physical health benefits, but we also can explore our local landscapes while experiencing the uplifting effects of sunshine, warmer breezes, and the sounds and scents of nature reawakening.

About the Author

Maggie Smith

Maggie, a resident of Colorado since 2008, is an expert in the field of performing arts and musical theater. Also skilled in real estate, nonprofit organizations, event planning, customer service and advertising. Maggie is the Director of Sales over all three Shift Workspaces locations.