Now that the weather is getting warmer, I crave to be outside more. During the week I spend most of my time indoors working from my home office. Exercise is one of the ways I help my body when I am stressed out. Working out means we are releasing endorphins, which helps our body deal with stress more effectively.
When we are less stressed, we have better digestion, our gut is healthier, we are less likely to get sick, we have a stronger immune system and have a reduced chance of being depressed. There are so many health reasons to exercise regularly!
Also, just being outside also has health benefits. A new study shows there are measurable physical benefits from fully engaging our senses in the great outdoors. Forest dirt microbes are linked to a healthy immune systems, and inhaling cypress tree compounds reduces stress hormones and blood pressure. Also, birdsong supports neuron brain health. (Source: Delicious Living).
As far as gut health benefits, exercise can help repair a damaged digestive system. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in the stomach. When we have strong stomach muscles, it helps to push food along the digestive tract so we have a bowel movement regularly. If you aren't pooping at least once a day, you could benefit from regular exercise.
Not pooping at least once a day is one symptom of having a damaged digestive system. Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation, and intestinal discomfort 👉Inflammation 👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing 👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues 👉Headaches and migraines 👉Hives, flushing, and itchy skin 👉Fatigue and malaise 👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to even just one of the above symptoms, you have a damaged digestive system. Why is it so important to repair it with healthy habits such as regular exercise? Because 70% of our immune system is in our gut. If you want to stay healthy and avoid illness and disease, a healthy gut is key.
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Working with me, I can help you conquer IBS, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, moodiness, unwanted weight gain or loss, anxiety, depression, frequent colds and acne. Right now, I have 5 spots open for new clients. These spots won't stay open for long. I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering so you can get back to living. I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start discussing how the Simply Great Health program will help you. How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could: ✅Be more present with your children ✅Thrive in your career ✅Improve your communication and your relationships ✅Have more fun! ✅Move your body and improve your fitness ✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself ✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family ✅Take an active vacation ✅Reclaim your life! Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your gut and fits your busy lifestyle. Book your call directly here. It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE. If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now. If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Being outside and getting regular exercise are just two parts of the Simply Great Health plan that helps you create a healthy lifestyle routine.
Here are 7 of my favorite exercises to do outside.
1) BIKE RIDE
Better yet, give yourself a destination to bike to! Maybe you have a farmers market close by or maybe there is a bike path that you can ride. Having a plan for your bike ride can motivate you as well as give measurable results. For example, if the farmers market is 8 miles away, one way, you can calculate how many calories you burned by noting the time you left and the time you got there. Plus, you can stock up on veggies for the week!
All you need is your yoga mat or a beach towel to practice yoga. Even better, if you are a beginner or experienced but need guidance on a flow, you can listen to a podcast. There are free pod casts that differ in length and focus.
Yoga Journal has a yoga podcast on itunes with practices that are under 25 minutes. They are highly focused on a particular area of the body. I recommend listening to the podcast before practicing it outside. That way you are familiar with the pose(s) you'll be practicing and can enjoy the outdoors without being stressed about listening to the podcast. Spotify also has yoga practices you can stream for free.
If doing yoga by listening to a podcast doesn't work for you, look to the local yoga studios in your area for outdoor classes. I live by the beach and there is always a class happening on the beach. Usually, the classes are a reduced fee compared to the fees charged at a studio.
I like to hike because you get the chance to be in nature plus add a little more intensity than if you are just walking. I look for public parks that have hiking trails since there will be other people around in case you have an issue. Or better yet, bring a friend or family member with you to hike.
If no one is interested, just let your family or friends know where you are going. When I hike, I make sure to bring water with me and I keep track of time. Remember, how long you hike in one direction, you'll have to hike that far to get back!
4) KAYAKING OR CANOEING
I like Kayaking and Canoeing because of how the upper body has to work. My upper body doesn't have that much strength so I have to look for ways to improve that area. Kayaking can be intense depending on the body of water you are on.
A river may have a strong current in one direction and an easier one in the other direction. I try to pace myself by noting the time to ensure I have enough energy to finish what I started.
5) SWIMMING OR PADDLE BOARDING
Swimming may need to wait until it gets a little bit warmer for some of us but it is great exercise. So is paddle boarding. Swimming gives a great overall workout since it is cardio and resistance training all in one. You can burn (depending on your weight and speed) anywhere from 400 - 600 calories in one hour.
When paddle boarding, you can burn 350 - 450 calories in an hour. Paddle boarding for me is another great way to get in an upper body workout as well as strengthening the core. Since you have to keep your balance and stay upright, your abdominal muscles are always working!
Walking is the most underrated exercise. Find a place you can map out a long route and take someone with you. If you don't have someone to take with you, take your favorite podcast.
There may be a school nearby that you can use their running track. Maybe go to an enclosed mall so you have a place to walk that is covered when the weather is bad.
7) YouTube Classes
Take them outside! If you have a small area that you can go outside and exercise, take your YouTube classes with you. YouTube is the best channel for free workout videos. There are so many to choose from. You can pick something intense or something less intense, depending on how you feel that day. Best of all, you don't need a lot of space for most of the workouts.
I hope this post inspired you to try some outdoor activities as the weather gets warmer. If you try any of the above, let me know how it worked out for you. Remember, it only takes 21 days to make a healthy habit. Let the warm weather help create your outdoor routine!
What activities do you like to do outside? Let me know by leaving a comment below.