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Six Reasons why Working Out Outside is Good for You

Update Date: Sep 22, 2014 04:30 PM EDT

As the summer comes to an end, people might want to consider taking their workouts outside. The weather in autumn is drastically cooler and less humid, which makes outdoor activities, ranging from hiking to running, a lot more enjoyable. If the weather alone cannot encourage you to exercise outside, here are six more reasons why exercising is good for you:

1. It can Lift your Mood

Exercising outdoors can lift your moods drastically. The air mixed with nature can reduce tension, confusion, anger and even depression, According to a 2010 study, researchers found that working out in a green area can boost your mood and self-esteem. Another study conducted in 2012 found that people were happier when they exercised outside as opposed to inside.

2. Improves Attention and Focus

Exercise in general is great for mental health. Exercising outdoors, however, can increase these health benefits. In a recent study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign, researchers found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were more likely to report improved concentration after a 20-minute walk around the park as opposed to a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood.

3. Encourages Commitment

Researchers have found that people who exercised outside were more likely to stick with their physical activity routine in comparison to people who did not. Although researchers are not sure why this is the case, they theorized that since exercising outdoors can improve moods, people are more likely to find the workout enjoyable, which can lead to commitment.

4. Keeps Weight Steady

Exercising outdoors can help people manage their weight and keep it steady. Since working out outside increases people's likelihood of sticking to their exercise regimen, they are more likely to have better control over their weight granted that their diets remain unchanged.

5. Increases Energy

Even though exercise might feel like an energy-depleting activity, working out can lead to improvements in your energy. These improvements are maximized when people work out outside because of the added beneficial effects of fresh air.

6. Improves Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D is an important vitamin that is typically sourced from sunlight. Many people do not get enough vitamin D, which could lead to detrimental health effects. Exercising outdoors can help increase your vitamin D levels.

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