In contemporary times, most people associate exercise with hitting the gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights, and a few may include Yoga. However, another type of exercise that is frequently overlooked by them is nature-based exercise.
Do you know, nature-based exercise, whether walking in a local park, biking, doing Yoga outdoors, or swimming, provides a plethora of benefits that are beyond physical fitness. Fresh air, natural scenery, and natural sounds all contribute to a peaceful and stress-free environment that can improve your mood and overall well-being.
In this blog post, we will know about different types of nature-based exercise, their benefits, and how to safely and effectively incorporate them into your daily routine. We will also explore the many ways that nature-based exercise can improve your health and happiness, from walking and biking to yoga and horseback riding. If you include even a single activity from the given activities, you will feel a positive change in your mood and fitness levels.
This blog post is for you if you enjoy being in nature or are looking for a new and exciting way to exercise. So, get ready to explore the benefits of nature-based exercise with me!
What are the benefits of Nature-based Exercise?
Many studies have been performed to ascertain the health benefits obtained by nature-based exercises. Each of the studies conclude that nature based exercises provide superior benefits of exercising than indoor activities.
1. Stress Management
One of the most well-known advantages of nature-based exercise is its ability to reduce stress. According to studies, just 20 minutes of exposure to nature can lower cortisol (the “stress hormone”) levels and improve overall feelings of well-being. This is thought to be because nature has a calming effect that can help to counteract the effects of chronic stress.
2. Better Mental Health
Nature-based exercise can improve overall mental health as well as reduce stress. Spending time in nature has been shown in studies to boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is most likely due to a combination of exercise and exposure to nature, both of which can help improve mood and reduce negative thoughts.
3. Better Cardiovascular Fitness
Exercise in nature is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness. Hiking, biking, and swimming all work your heart and lungs, which can help improve overall cardiovascular health. Furthermore, because nature-based exercise is often performed on more varied terrain than indoor exercise, it can be a more challenging workout, leading to greater fitness gains.
4. Better Sleep
Nature-based exercise can also help with sleep. People who spend time in nature have better sleep quality and are less likely to suffer from insomnia, according to studies. This is thought to be because nature has a calming effect on the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
5. Increased Vitamin D levels
Nature-based exercise is also an excellent way to boost vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for overall health, but it can be difficult to obtain enough of it through diet alone. Spending time in nature, on the other hand, allows the body to produce vitamin D
naturally, which can help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency.
What are different types of Nature-based Exercises?
Hiking is one of the most popular types of outdoor exercise. It’s a great way to get some exercise while admiring nature’s beauty. Hiking trails range in difficulty from easy, flat routes to more difficult, mountainous routes. When hiking, it’s critical to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled up.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that people of all ages and fitness levels can do.
Walking in nature, whether in a park, on a hiking trail, or along a beach, has numerous advantages. Being outside in nature can help to reduce stress and improve mental health. Walking in nature also enables you to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of the environment.
Walking, in particular, has numerous health benefits. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, leg and core strength, and endurance. It’s also an excellent way to burn calories and shed pounds.
Wear comfortable and appropriate footwear, bring plenty of water and snacks, and be aware of your surroundings when walking in your nature-based exercise routine. It’s also a good idea to vary your route and explore different trails to keep things interesting and challenging
Running is yet another popular form of outdoor exercise. It’s a great way to get some cardio in while taking in the scenery. Running on trails, paths, or even the beach is an option. Running can be a strenuous workout, so begin slowly and gradually increase your mileage.
Swimming is an excellent way to exercise while enjoying nature. There are many different types of swimming to choose from, whether you prefer to swim in a lake, a river, or the ocean. Swimming is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness and upper-body strength. While swimming, it is crucial to be aware of the weather and water currents.
Yoga is a great form of outdoor exercise that can be done in a variety of settings. Yoga is a
practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, which can be beneficial for both the body and mind.
Yoga in nature can provide numerous additional benefits. The natural environment can provide a calming and peaceful environment that can aid in stress reduction and mental health improvement. Nature’s sounds and smells can also help to induce a meditative state, making it easier to focus on the exercise.
Yoga in nature can also provide a sense of connection to the natural environment, which can benefit overall well-being. Fresh air and sunlight can also help the body by increasing vitamin D levels and improving overall mood.
Traditional yoga styles such as Hatha or Vinyasa, as well as more specialized styles such as Forrest or Aerial Yoga, can all be practiced in nature.
When practicing yoga in nature, it’s critical to find a safe and comfortable spot, bring a yoga mat or towel, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather and to bring sunscreen and insect repellent if necessary.
Another great way to get some exercise while enjoying nature is to go biking. There are numerous trails and paths to explore whether you prefer road biking or mountain biking. Biking is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness as well as leg and core strength. When biking, it is critical to wear a helmet and use appropriate safety equipment.
7. Yoga on water
Paddleboard yoga, also known as stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga, is a type of yoga practiced on a paddleboard in a body of water, such as a lake or ocean. The benefits of yoga are combined with the added challenge of maintaining balance on a moving surface in this type of yoga. It is classified as a nature-based exercise because it allows practitioners to connect with their surroundings and the natural environment while practicing yoga. Improved balance, core strength, and mental clarity are some of the advantages of paddleboard yoga. Furthermore, practicing yoga on a paddleboard can be a fun and different way to experience nature.
8. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is an exciting and challenging outdoor activity that can be done in a variety of settings. It’s an excellent way to build strength, endurance, and balance. It’s also a great chance to push yourself and overcome your fears.
9. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is an outdoor activity that can be done in a variety of settings. It’s an excellent way to increase cardiovascular fitness while also strengthening the legs and core.
Another water-based activity that can provide a great full-body workout is surfing. It’s an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness and upper-body strength. Surfing is another great way to enjoy the ocean and the thrill of riding a wave.
11. Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are excellent nature-based exercise options if you live in a snowy area. They’re a great way to get some exercise while taking in the winter scenery. They can also be a great way to explore the wilderness during the colder months.
Points to ponder before starting Nature-based Exercise?
1. Plan ahead of time: Before you go, plan your route, check the weather, and bring all necessary equipment.
2. Begin slowly: If you’re new to nature-based exercise, begin with shorter, easier routes and gradually progress to longer, more difficult routes.
3. Wear appropriate gear: Wear appropriate footwear, clothing, and safety equipment.
4. Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards: Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards of the environment.
5. Bring the necessary supplies: Bring enough water and snacks to keep you fueled for the duration of your workout.
6. Be prepared for weather changes: Be prepared for weather changes and bring extra layers if necessary.
7. Take time to appreciate the scenery: Take time to appreciate the scenery and the benefits of being in nature.
Before beginning any nature-based exercise, as with any exercise, consult with a doctor, especially if you have any health conditions or concerns. Always be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, such as wild animals, weather, and water currents.
Nature-based exercise has a plethora of surprising health benefits, ranging from stress reduction and improved mental health to increased cardiovascular fitness and improved sleep. Furthermore, because nature-based exercise is often performed on more varied terrain than indoor exercise, it can be a more challenging workout, leading to greater fitness gains. So, the next time you consider going to the gym, think about taking your workout outside and reaping the benefits of nature-based exercise.
Simply go outside