Exercise Goes Back To Nature

If you Take your workout into the outdoors, you won’t need a gym membership or costly machines.  Deepening on where you are doing your outdoor workouts you may see some incredible scenery.  My husband graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  One of his professors held the record for running the Appellation Trail.  Can you imagine the scenery he saw as he ran the trail.

In today’s uncertain economy outdoor exercise is posting big gains. The Outdoor Foundation surveyed more than 40,000 Americans for its Outdoor Recreation Participation Report in 2009. They found out participation in Trail running was up 15%, mountain biking up 10%, and hiking up 9%. Other nature activities that showed an increase where snowshoeing up 22%, backpacking up 19%, cross-country skiing up 9% and kayaking up 7%. National Parks had 12 million more visitors in 2009 than in 2008.  The most popular outdoor activities include hiking, mountain biking and trail running.

With more than 30% of children considered overweight or obese a family trip to a nature trail is a great way to get the whole family physically active and seeing areas that are beautiful in the country. Outdoor exercise is a great fitness option for any age. According to the American Journal of Prevention Medicine nature based activities give an individual mental benefits such as decrease anger and fear, increased mental alertness and feelings of well-being and energy. According to the Outdoor Foundations report people who exercise outdoors tend to work out more often and more vigorously than those that workout in a gym.

If you workout in nature keep a few safety rules in mind before you head out. Stick to marked trail, map your route before hand knowing the halfway point. If you know the halfway point you will be able to gauge if you have enough energy to continue. You may also want to wear sunscreen and insect repellent.

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