How outdoor exercise enhances well-being

The benefits of getting outside.

Topline. Exercise offers numerous benefits for the brain. Lifting weights can be a form of PTSD therapy, running can improve your memory, and almost any form of movement helps relieve stress and boost your mood.

Does where you exercise matter?

A recent study suggests it could be more beneficial to exercise in nature versus indoors.

Get outside. The study measured the impact of walking indoors or outdoors on cognitive abilities. It found walking outdoors led to:

  • Faster reaction times
  • Improved working memory
  • Enhanced attention

The power of nature. According to Havard professor Heather Eliassen, “Exposure to green space results in mental restoration, increased positive emotions, and decreased anxiety and rumination.” Eliassen also notes that spending time in green spaces can improve mindfulness.

Outside Exercise

Outdoor workouts are a great way to boost your overall well-being.

The bottom line

As indoor lifestyles become the norm, where we exercise can be just as important as what we do. Many of us rush to the gym before or after work, but simply getting outside might serve us better — hit the trails, take a brisk walk, or try an open-air workout.