Given that we are so big on exercising outdoors, here are 4 ways to maximize nature’s benefits:
- GET OUTSIDE! People who get outdoors have lower BMI’s (meaning they have less body fat) than those who don’t, according to a report in PLOS One. Getting outdoors also has a strong stabilizing effect on your body clock, which regulates metabolism and energy levels.
- MAKE QUICKY JAUNTS ALL DAY: A mere five minutes of being in fresh air can improve your mood and self-esteem, according to a study in Environmental Science and Technology. Your goal is to take a mini blue-sky break 3 to 4 times a day. Just looking at natural landscapes increases activity in the areas of the brain that control happy memories and stress reduction, found researchers from Chonnam University.
- LET YOURSELF FEEL CHILLY! As soon as you start to feel the cold, the weight-loss perks of outdoor time kick in! Temperatures of 63 degrees and lower will both increase activity in brown fat (the “good” calorie-burning kind), and have been linked to reductions in total body fat, according to research from Japan and the Netherlands.
- EXERCISE IN FRESH AIR! Nature can motivate! When you exercise outdoors, you tend to work harder and feel more powerful than when you work out inside, a study in Psychology of Sports and Exercise reports. Your immunity gets a boost from outdoor activity, too: walking in wooded areas can even increase the function of cancer-fighting white blood cells, according to research from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo.
I hope to see you this week, and if not, be sure to get outdoors!
Ketchiff, Mirel. “Live Healthy: Slim, Happy, Calm,” Shape.