An article by seriously one of my favourite Doctors – Dr. Greg Wells from SickKids wrote an article in the Globe and Mail about why exercising outside might be better for your health. Read it all here.
In summary the article suggests that exercising in nature has benefits that go above and beyond the benefits you gain by exercising indoors. Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem and can even help with depression.
You're also more likely to stick with your workout program outdoors. An indoor routine can get pretty boring watching the same wall or mirror over and over again.
Honestly even when it's raining outside for a Bod Squad – like it did yesterday I'd rather be outside. It builds character! Gets us in touch with nature and really it can be a lot of fun.
Another surprise benefit of getting outside and into nature is that exposure to plants like trees can improve your immune system. I totally believe this is true. I am almost never sick. I haven't taken a sick day in four years, I'm never sick. One of the main reasons why is I am outside a lot and we keep our house serial killer clean thanks to Matt. Scientists also believe that when you're outside airborne chemicals emitted by plants to protect themselves from fungus, bacteria and insects (these chemicals are called phytoncides) may also benefit humans. According to the article, in a study published in 2007, people who took two-hour walks in a forest had a 50-per-cent increase in the levels of their natural killer cells.
This week I challenge you to take your workout outside! Toronto has some of the best ravine networks of any major city in the world. Go exploring! Even if it's just for a walk – see what happens!
p.s. Thank you to Sue and Emily for sharing this with me first!!