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Why Becoming Your Own 'Green Machine' Is So Important

By Sandy Schroeder

“Green Exercise,” which means workouts done outdoors, is getting a lot more attention as researchers point up the unique benefits that occur. As we move through fall, and on through the calorie-laden holidays, outdoor exercise could be a key choice to survive and thrive.

Special Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

Check these dividends.

Vitamin D shows up automatically - No need to gulp pills with breakfast, just make sure you are out there for a half-hour or more every day, soaking up the sunshine.

Your immune system gets a boost – Just in time to fight winter colds, brisk walks or early morning runs may keep your immune system stronger. 

Feel good hormones turn up – Snaring your share of the good endorphins can be pretty easy when you run through a park, or bike by the water. You will be more than ready for whatever else the day brings.

You may work out harder – Just the stimulus of being outside often keeps people exercising longer, according to current research.

Plus, current research suggests there are some benefits to exercising outdoors that cannot be recreated on a treadmill or recumbent bike, according to the New York Times.

From childhood on, I have always gravitated to the outdoors. Later, as school and careers conspired to keep me indoors, I gradually found my way back outdoors. Now I make a point of stepping outside in the morning to sip my coffee and assess the day. Then I use a yoga routine to wake up my mind and body.

If you are already a bike fan, hiking nut, or avid walker, you know how great it is to be outside. Extending the health dividends further could mean planning vacations around new or current sports, sailing, boating or skiing, or getting into weekend camping.

Establishing an outdoor retreat for yourself in your backyard or patio could also merge the benefits of stretching and strength exercises with the rewards of being outside.

I have a friend who is an architect and he says he does his best work in national parks, where he camps, and then works on current projects in campgrounds. Hard to beat that for making the most of life.

If this sounds good to you, start thinking about how you could take your current work agenda and family routines and blend in more outdoor exercise. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Antonio, Tex.

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