Do you feel out of balance? Are you overwhelmed with work and family obligations? Well, it’s time you did something good for your body and mind. Getting outdoors will bring you many benefits, especially if you mix it with exercising. Here are some of the best outdoor activities that will rejuvenate your body and de-stress your mind.
This is a great physical activity for all people who are not in any enviable form yet still want to enjoy moving and spending time in nature. All you need for a nice hike is some good shoes and a safe stretch of nature to explore. In a single demanding hike, you can burn as much as 500 calories and if you hit the hills, even more! But more importantly, you will get in touch with nature and clear your mind. Plus, amazing scenery and relaxing nature sounds will finally unglue you from your phone which is amazing for mental health.
If you enjoy the fresh air and an open road in front of you, try cycling. A short trip on your bike will provide you with plenty of exercises and some time to think about whatever’s troubling you. Depending on where you’re going, there are different types of bikes. A good city bike will take you wherever you want to go on a paved road, while a mountain bike is more suitable for rugged terrain. Whichever type you prefer, you can expect great mental and physical health benefits. Pedaling is great for building lower-body muscles but it’s also good for cardiovascular health. Plus, fresh air and wind in your face will feel so refreshing and rejuvenating.
Running is one of the best whole-body activities you can perform in nature. It’s a great way to clear out your head, relieve stress and enjoy some time by yourself to reflect. Additionally, it’s very good for your fitness and physical health too. It’s a great way to maintain a healthy weight, build lean muscles and improve cardiovascular health. But, running can be quite demanding, especially outdoors on the rugged surface and non-level terrain. So, in order to prevent injury and have more enjoyable running sessions, it’s best to include some leg workouts into your workout regime that will turn you into a real runner in no time. Most of these can be done anywhere and with minimal equipment (some weights and a stability ball) so you can introduce them into your life without too much trouble.
If you’re used to just lounging at the beach or splashing around in the shallows, it will surprise you that swimming is a great whole-body workout. It’s also very low-impact, which means you can enjoy it while recovering from injury or suffering from chronic pain (it’s a perfect exercise for seniors or overweight people). And expect a lot of resistance from water—it will increase muscle mass and tone your body. If you choose to go swimming in the ocean, river or lake, you will be completely surrounded by natural peace and beauties that will make all your stress and anxiety leave your head and sink to the bottom.
If you’re looking for a way to connect with nature and reach inner peace, yoga is your answer, especially if you practice it outside. It can help you solve many of your problems concerning your body, mind, and soul. A good yoga teacher designs classes with exactly these points in mind and they can offer positive encouragement and guidance towards a healthy body and stress-free mind.
Choosing to practice yoga poses outdoors is especially beneficial since it allows you to achieve harmony with the world that surrounds you. It’s much easier to achieve relaxation in a nurturing outdoor environment. And since breathing is a huge part of yoga, the freshness of the air outside provided by trees, plants and cool temperatures will supply you with extra oxygen.
Meditation in nature
Similar to yoga, meditation in nature is also a great way to reach inner peace. And practicing outdoor meditation is really easy. All you need to do is find a park, forest or even a beach and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and let your mind release all tension and time and work obligation concerns. It’s a great way to de-stress and relieve tension from both body and mind. You will also learn a lot about yourself and practice mindfulness we all lack in this world filled with distractions and fast pleasures.
If you step outside, you will find it much easier to reach balance and harmony inside. So, grab your shoes and your water bottle and step out for an invigorating run, fun bike ride or relaxing yoga session as soon as you can!
Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of three. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran (although kids prefer Franz Ferdinand, and the husband Blink182) and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things. https://twitter.com/MorganRoseElli1