8 Reasons to Exercise Outdoors

FITNESS  |  October 07, 2016
  • 1. Stroll to slim down
    1 / 8 1. Stroll to slim down

    We kid you not: Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight. A brisk one-hour daily walk can reduce your genetic tendency to obesity by half. Harvard scientists studied more than 12,000 people to arrive at this conclusion. Plus, a 60kg woman burns 282 calories by walking 5km in one hour. (That’s about the same amount of calories you consume by snacking on a pack of M&M’s chocolate candies with peanuts.)

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  • 2. Boost your mental well-being
    2 / 8 2. Boost your mental well-being

    There’s a whopping 50 per cent improvement in mental health if you take your workouts outdoors as opposed to logging a gym session, according to the 2008 Scottish Health Survey. And it doesn’t matter what you do, whether it’s a leisurely stroll or yoga in the park.

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  • 3. For maximum benefits, exercise by the water
    3 / 8 3. For maximum benefits, exercise by the water

    Of all outdoor locations, coastal or waterside spots lead to the most positive feelings, according to research presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference.

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  • 4. Improve your mood and self-esteem
    4 / 8 4. Improve your mood and self-esteem

    Working out in the presence of nature, or what experts call “green exercise”, doesn’t just do wonders for your health; it boosts your mood and self-esteem too, reports a study published in Environmental Science & Technology. The same researchers also noted that the presence of water amplifes these benefits. What we’re thinking: Time for a stroll around one of the many reservoirs in Singapore.

    (Also read: 6 Outdoor Running Routes in Singapore)

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  • 5. Soak up the scenery by cycling
    5 / 8 5. Soak up the scenery by cycling

    Those who love a good ride on their wheels torch 360 calories by cycling 20km in one hour (based on a 60kg woman). Log on to www.nparks.gov.sg and use the distance calculator to chart your route on one of Singapore’s many park connectors or head to rustic Coney Island, if you haven’t already. No time for leisurely cycles? Incorporate cycling into your daily life. Ride to the supermarket, or even to your office with the smart use of park connectors. See how other Singaporeans do it.

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  • 6. Get a dose of vitamin D
    6 / 8 6. Get a dose of vitamin D

    Exposure to natural sunlight will ensure your daily vitamin D need. De?ciencies in this nutrient have been linked with obesity, muscle weakness and even some cancers. Other studies reveal that low levels of sun exposure may also account for asthma, allergies and eczema (an in?ammatory skin condition) in children. Kite-?ying or stand-up paddling, anyone?

    (Also read: Top 5 Nutrient Deficiencies in Women)

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  • 7. Sustain your fitness motivation
    7 / 8 7. Sustain your fitness motivation

    The more restored you feel after exercise, the more likely you’ll do it again, says a 2011 study. And working out in nature has precisely that effect. Speaking of motivation, outdoor bootcamps will challenge your physical limits, plus enable you to meet like-minded people and form a fitness network. All that increases your commitment to exercise!

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  • 8. Just because you can
    8 / 8 8. Just because you can

    Lastly, because Danish author Hans Christian Anderson said so: “Just living is not enough… One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

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