Exercising outdoors isn't just good for your physical health. It also helps your mental health. Spending time in nature and in natural light can improve mood and reduce stress and depression. Being physically active produces similar benefits and often relaxes and encourages people.
Well, experts unanimously agree that outdoor activities exponentially improve mental health, making physical exercise even more fruitful. And since Mother Nature in most cases offers you free outdoor or field exercise, you can save a lot compared to Work out in the gym. Saving money is one of life's achievements that improves mood and relieves stress. In the context of urbanization, insufficient levels of activity, sedentary behavior and the increasing lack of commitment between people and the natural environment, the question arises as to whether and how outdoor sports can be part of the solution.
Regular outdoor activity provides a number of physical health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing arthritis pain, losing weight and reducing the risk of diabetes, certain types of cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. In addition, since many benefits can be achieved simultaneously, outdoor sports not only benefit practitioners in multiple ways, but from the point of view of the decision maker, investments in outdoor sports are considered to be highly profitable. However, there is a gap in the evidence base to better understand the benefits of outdoor sports in general and, therefore, to support investment in health-improving physical activity (HEPA) in the natural environment. The objective of this literature review was to compile an overview of the social benefits and costs associated with outdoor sports within the academic literature and to reflect on the quality of the underlying evidence that supports the relationship.
Time spent on outdoor recreation generates a range of benefits, from reducing obesity rates to strengthening family ties, according to Robert Manning, professor of recreational management at the University of Vermont. Most studies (74 articles) deal with the effect of outdoor sports on mental health benefits, followed by effects on education and lifelong learning (57 studies) and physical health (46 studies). As equivalent to outdoor sports, terms such as “sport in nature” or “in the natural environment”, for example, were included in the search in Spanish and different names of disciplines such as horse riding or horse riding were taken into account. In the context of urban recreation, outdoor sports facilities, such as parks, forests and other green spaces, as well as local rivers or lakes, are easily accessible and can be considered low-cost opportunities that are open to all and that people with low incomes value.
This research is part of an Erasmus+ project called “BOSS: The Benefits of Outdoor Sports for Society”, which was co-funded by the European Union. Depending on overall physical activity, outdoor sports are associated with a number of positive health benefits. In total, 32 studies were conducted on the impact of sports and outdoor recreation on emotional states, 19 on positive states and 23 on negative ones. And since being outside during the day helps you sleep better, coupled with the fact that better sleep facilitates faster weight loss, the role of outdoor time in your fitness cannot be overemphasized.
In addition to that, being inside outdoor plants helps to take advantage of the health benefits of phytoncides and other organic compounds that plants produce. .