Boost Your Exercise Potential with Nature

September 2, 2011
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Creative Commons License, photo credit: Meg Stewart

We came across an interesting story from Berkeley Wellness about how “green exercise”—as in exercising in nature—can boost the restorative effects of working out. We’re lucky here in Boulder, Colo., to be surrounded by easy (and beautiful!) places to get into nature and take a breather, and we love that doing so can help boost our energy, our mood and our brain power.

“Studies have found, for instance, that people do better on tests involving memory or attention after trekking through the woods than after walking in a city. People have increased vitality (that is, physical and mental energy) and a greater sense of well-being after walking through a tree-lined river path than after walking indoors. Other studies have even found that patients in hospitals tend to recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows.”

The story goes on to say that researchers theorize that part of the benefits of green exercise come from the respite we get from everyday life, being able to focus on the sights, sounds and smells around us—without multitasking. Researchers also think that airborne chemicals that are emitted by plants can also play a role.

So if you’re planning on going for a jog or a bike ride this Labor Day weekend, make it even more beneficial and find some nature to do it in—be it on the seashore, in a forest or even a city park. And don’t forget to breathe deep and enjoy our beautiful earth.