Monday, May 20, 2019

Exercise Outdoors Incredible Benefits Boost Well-Being

Exercise Outdoors Increase Physical Fitness

Exercise outdoors to increase physical fitness while enjoying the scenery any time of year, weather permitting.  It is well known that fitness activity promotes mental and physical health. Exposure to nature reduces stress proven to be beneficial to people of all ages.  Sports enthusiasts find various ways to workout building lean muscles while losing weight.

Physical activities can take place outdoors in the wilderness or park connecting with mother nature enhancing a sense of wellbeing.  According to the CDC Center of Disease Control people of all fitness levels can benefit from exercising outdoors to improve health, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In the United States, less than 40 percent of people live within one half mile of park boundary and only 55 percent of youths have access to playgrounds, parks and recreational areas. Individuals who have access to well designed park areas designed for public enjoyment tend to walk more lowering their stress levels have shown to improve energy levels.

Hiking In The Great Outdoors
It is estimated that 2-3 million people walk partially along the Appalachian Trail each year for the enjoyment of exercising outdoors. Completing the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one visit is an enormous undertaking.  Each year thousands of sports enthusiasts attempt to hike the entire trail however only one in four actually complete the whole trail due to the length and time needed to make it to the end.

Typically it takes 5-7 months for a hiker to complete the entire trail. Exercising outdoors hiking can be performed at many parks around the United States. Exercise for short or long durations depending on physical fitness levels for fun in the sun workout at your own pace. Walking just 30-60 minutes per day outdoors can significantly impact your health reducing body fat while toning muscles for a well defined appearance.

Exercise Outdoors Tips

  • Get a complete physical exam before participating in any new fitness activities
  • Stay hydrated take extra water with you while exercising outdoors
  • Wear comfortable clothing suited for exercise
  • Pack healthy meals and snacks to boost energy
  • Take a cell phone with you at all times including a GPS app for assistance.
  • Stay safe follow park recreational rules
  • Exercise outdoors participating in sports you enjoy including, hiking, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing, basketball, soccer, baseball, football, golf, volleyball

Exercise Walking Benefits On Health
Studies indicate regular walking exercise is beneficial for building bone reducing the risk of osteoarthritis as a low impact activity easy on the joints and ligaments.  Exercising outdoors walking at a brisk pace can help manage weight while improving conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, lower cholesterol.

Exercise has become popular in recent years as 42.13 million people in the United States participated in hiking in the great outdoors between 2006-2017. Hiking outdoors is usually physically more demanding on the body depending on the terrain and length of time performing the activity.

Hiking uphill burns off 5 times more calories compared to walking on a flat area. A leisurely hike can burn off 300-600 calories per hour depending on a person's weight and terrain of choice including cross country, steep uphill climbs or downhill trails. A person who weighs 155 pounds hiking at 2.5 miles per hour brisk pace for 60 minutes with no backpack will burn off approximately 351 calories.  

In comparison, the same person carrying a backpack weighing 20 pounds hiking for 60 minutes at an increased speed of 3 mph will burn off 464 calories at a 4 percent incline exercise outdoors.

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Patricia Lynn
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