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Why Outdoor Workouts Work Better

Why Outdoor Workouts Work Better

Pounding away on a treadmill under fluorescent lights in a stuffy gym couldn't sound any less appealing. Until now. This workout choice may be holding your health back.

That's what exercise guru Tina Vindum, author of Outdoor Fitness, believes. In her book, she references several studies that suggest exercising in a natural environment is better for your mood and your health.

  • On mood: one study found that outdoor joggers produced more of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin and had less anxiety and depression than folks who ran on indoor treadmills. Not a runner? Do this instead to hike up your happiness.
  • On health: an another study, patients recovering from surgery needed less pain medication when their rooms had views of natural surroundings. And in a prison study, inmates with a view of sky, trees and grass had significantly fewer headaches, digestive problems and trips to the infirmary. Where does it hurt? Get tips for dealing with pain.

Onward and outward
Vindum believes exercising outdoors—especially in nature—not only takes the boredom out of your workouts but also dramatically enhances vitality, confidence, and fitness. Read this article to find out if your workout is paying off the way it should.

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

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