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6 Reasons Why to Take Your Workouts Outdoors


In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, mental health concerns have become increasingly prevalent. However, the solution might be as simple as stepping outside and engaging in outdoor fitness modalities. Not only does outdoor exercise provide physical activity, but it also offers a multitude of mental health benefits. From reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression to enhancing cognitive function and promoting mindfulness, the great outdoors holds incredible potential for improving our mental well-being. In this blog, we will explore the numerous mental health benefits of outdoor exercise, supported by some of the latest evidence.


Fitness Benefit #1 – Reduction in Stress and Anxiety:

Outdoor fitness and exercise has been proven to effectively reduce stress and anxiety levels. Research suggests that spending time in nature can lower cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, and increase the production of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that individuals who engaged in outdoor exercise experienced greater reductions in stress compared to indoor exercise participants.


Fitness Benefit #2 – Mood Enhancement and Depression Relief:

Engaging in outdoor fitness and exercise can significantly improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. The combination of physical activity, exposure to natural light, and the calming environment of nature stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood and emotions. A study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that individuals who exercised in natural environments reported greater feelings of revitalization and decreased symptoms of depression compared to those who exercised indoors.


Fitness Benefit #3 – Improved Cognitive Function:

Outdoor fitness and exercise has a positive impact on cognitive function, including attention, memory, and creativity. Research suggests that spending time in nature can help restore attention and reduce mental fatigue, enhancing cognitive performance. Additionally, the exposure to green spaces and natural surroundings has been associated with improved focus and creativity. A study published in Psychological Science found that individuals who took a nature walk performed better on cognitive tasks compared to those who took a walk in an urban environment.  Talk about improving your mental fitness!


Fitness Benefit #4 – Increased Mindfulness and Mental Clarity:

Engaging in outdoor fitness and exercise allows us to disconnect from the constant distractions of technology and fully immerse ourselves in the present moment. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature provide a natural setting for mindfulness practice, which involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Multiple studies have shown that practicing mindfulness in nature can reduce rumination, increase self-awareness, and promote mental clarity.


Fitness Benefit #5 – Social Connection and Support:

Outdoor fitness and exercise provides an opportunity for social connection and support, which are essential for maintaining good mental health. Participating in group activities, such as hiking, team sports, or outdoor fitness classes, can foster a sense of belonging and build social relationships. Social interactions during outdoor exercise contribute to increased feelings of happiness, reduced loneliness, and improved overall well-being.



The natural environment itself acts as a stress buffer, providing a sense of calm and tranquility. Research suggests that exposure to natural scenery, such as forests, parks, or bodies of water, can reduce physiological markers of stress, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The visual and sensory elements of nature have a soothing effect on the mind, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.


Outdoor fitness modalities offer a multitude of mental health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to enhancing mood, cognitive function, and mindfulness. The combination of physical activity, exposure to nature, and social interaction creates a powerful synergy that positively impacts our mental well-being. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed or in need of a mental boost, consider stepping outside and embracing the wonders of outdoor exercise. Let nature be your therapist and guide you towards a happier, healthier mind.



  1. Barton, J., & Pretty, J. (2010). What is the best dose of nature and green exercise for improving mental health? A multi-study analysis. Environmental Science & Technology, 44(10), 3947-3955.
  2. Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., & Daily, G. C. (2012). The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1249(1), 118-136.
  3. Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychological Science, 19(12), 1207-1212.
  4. Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Sellens, M., & Griffin, M. (2005). The mental and physical health outcomes of green exercise. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 15(5), 319-337.
  5. Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011). Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity


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