There are so many benefits of walking outside that most people overlook. Sure, running is great, treadmills are convenient, but what about the good outdoors every now and then? Being outside in nature is one of the most calming, nurturing, and healthy things you can do for yourself. No matter what the weather is like, you’ll feel so much better after just walking outside for a bit each day. Find out what the best benefits of walking outside are, and take your sneakers outdoors next time you work out. You won’t believe how amazing you’ll feel!
1. Vitamin D
Let’s start with one of the biggest benefits of walking outside. Vitamin D exposure is one of the most healthy habits we can all take part in more often. The sun is the absolute best source of Vitamin D of all. Our bodies need at least 15 minutes in the sun with no sunscreen to absorb it. After that, feel free to apply sunscreen if you want. Vitamin D from the sun, even if it’s not shining outside, is the most effective form, even in comparison to supplements. It prevents everything from colon cancer, depression, heart disease, osteoporosis, and seasonal affective disorder ( SAD).
2. Stronger Calves and Hammies
Another benefit of walking outside is it strengthens your calves and hamstrings, or hammies, as you probably call them! A treadmill can add bulk to your legs if you do the same workout most of the time, but outside, you’re treading up and down different inclines more sporadically. This is a great way to train your entire leg muscles, plus the terrain outside is constantly changing, making it more effective.
3. Less Stressful
Gyms can be stressful! In case you haven’t noticed, they’re often full of people hurrying around, you have to wait for machines or treadmills, and the noise itself will drive you crazy. How about unplugging and just walking outside? You’ll probably be bored at first, but you’ll be surprised how relaxing it is once you get started. Try not bringing your iPod or phone with you the first time, and see how relaxing it is. It’s incredibly calming, which can help reduce stress.
4. Different Routes
Another benefit of walking outside, is you always have a new travel experience, right at your feet, literally. There are multiple routes you can take, and various routines you can do outside. That sure beats a treadmill’s hum anyday!
5. Seasons Change
One really simple benefit to walking outside each day, is you get an active view of the seasons changing. This really puts you in tune with nature, and can help you feel more balanced in life. You’d be surprised just how effective this is at calming you and making you more appreciative of your life, and of small things! I love seeing the leaves change in the fall, the birds chirp in the spring, and the sun beaming on the pavement during summer. Even winter’s snowy landscapes are nice to look at sometimes too!
6. Fresh Air
We all need fresh air, in more ways than one. Being stuck inside can not only make you depressed, but also reduces your daily levels of oxygen. Toxins in your home and work aren’t meant to be breathed in 24 hours a day. Getting outside daily exposes you to fresh air, which cleanses the mind and the body.
7. Body Peace
Okay, this one is a surprising benefit I’ve noticed within myself. I find I am more at peace with my body when I walk outside. I know it sounds strange, but being outside in nature, doing my own thing, and just doing the simple task of walking is amazing. It helped heal me from exercise obsession, tones and lengthens me naturally without a treadmill, and really puts me in touch with the world around me. Walking outside literally takes you outside yourself, which is huge when it comes to achieving body peace.
If you walk outside each day, what’s your favorite benefit? I’d love to hear it, along with find out why the rest of you enjoy the outdoors like I do!