When Mother Nature turns on the heat, you'll find many yoga students taking their practice outside of the studio.
What are the benefits of outdoor exercise and should you be joining in on the fun?
Cleaner and Cheaper Than the Gym
Ever walked into a gym and taken a giant breath of musty air? Yeah, me too. According to the EPA, indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We spend most of our days trapped inside, breathing recycled air. It's important to take our workout outdoors and take a fresh, clean breath.
The obvious advantage: it's cheaper! If you're looking to save on expenses, cutting out your gym membership might be a good money saving option. Even a 3-month break from your gym could save you hundreds of dollars.
Promotes Higher Vitamin D Levels
Although unprotected exposure to sun rays poses risk, proper exposure provides significant benefits. When those summer rays hit your skin, it triggers Vitamin D3 production in your body. This vitamin is crucial to bone health, immune function, and endorphin production. Better sleep is included on the benefits list, too! Who doesn't need that?
Boosts Self Esteem
Outdoors, there's no gym rats staring you down, just singing birds and babbling brooks to cheer you on. Studies show that just five minutes of movement in green space can improve mood and self-esteem. If you're having a tough day at work, take a short walk in the park or a few sun salutations outdoors to de-stress.
Helps Burn More Calories
According to the health experts, excising outdoors promotes muscles confusion and teaches your body to adapt to changing environments. Some might even argue that wind resistance increases calorie burn. I do know one thing: try tree pose in the wind and you'll learn a whole new side of balance. Even better, try Warrior 3 on a wobbly dock by the lake!
Any form of exercise is guaranteed to boost your mood, but studies show that just 20 minutes of outdoor exercise can provide you with a boost equivalent to a cup of coffee! Next time you find yourself reaching for coffee, reinvigorate yourself with open air and green space instead.
So what do you think? Are you ready to give outdoor yoga a try? Maybe FREE yoga in the park will make that choice to get off the couch just a little bit easier.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. The total exposure assessment methodology (TEAM) study: Summary and analysis. EPA/600/6-87/002a. Washington, DC.
Robin Mejia, Green exercise may be good for your head, Environmental Science & Technology, Volum 44, Issue 10, 2010, Pages 3649-3649, http://pubs.acs.org/action/showCitFormats?href=http%3A%2F%2Fpubs.acs.org%2Fdoi%2Fabs%2F10.1021%2Fes101129n&doi=10.1021%2Fes101129n.
Richard M. Ryan, Netta Weinstein, Jessey Bernstein, Kirk Warren Brown, Louis Mistretta, Marylène Gagné, Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 30, Issue 2, 2010, Pages 159-168, ISSN 0272-4944, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.10.009.