Health Care Lifestyle

Take an Outside Interest in Working Out

A man running outside while listening to music.

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Isn’t it amazing how slightly longer days, a little sunshine, and nature bursting with colorful flowers can increase your inspiration for exercising outdoors?

That’s why summer is the perfect time to take your exercise routine outside the gym or your home and get your daily dose of vitamin D naturally, along with other top benefits of exercising outdoors.

  • It’s a natural antidepressant. Outdoor exercise can help ward off seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression and anxiety because sunshine naturally increases serotonin, a hormone that affects your mood. And exercise itself produces endorphins, another feel-good hormone that boosts your mood and reduces pain.
  • It challenges your body. When you exercise on outdoor terrain, your body is more challenged than when it is working out on a flat indoor surface.
  • It provides mental relief. Many women feel a lot of tension about working out, losing weight and lowering their blood pressure. Outdoor exercise is enjoyable and feels more like play than a chore.
  • There’s no gym membership required. All you need to get a fantastic workout is a safe, well-lit park, track or walking trail, and your body weight.

What You’ll Need to Get Started With Outdoor Exercise

  • Sun protection. Be sure to wear SPF, sunglasses and a hat, no matter your skin tone. If you ever start feeling queasy, seek shade right away.
  • Supportive walking or running shoes. Good shoes protect the entire body from injury.
  • Water. A good rule of thumb: Sip four to six ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes you’re outside. Fortunately, Johnson County Parks and Recreation offers a wealth of healthful summer activities. Here are just a few of the dozens of fun, summer activities to choose from:
    • Aquatics
    • Biking
    • Canoeing
    • Fishing
    • Kayaking
    • Nature walks
    • Personal training
    • Golf
    • Pickleball

Click here to find out everything that the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department has to offer this summer.

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