New Mexico Health Connections | my connection | Summer 2020

{ SUMMER 2020 | FOR MEMBERS OF NEW MEXICO HEALTH CONNECTIONS } connecting you to better health & wellness THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE GREAT OUTDOORS I s the gym your usual go-to-place for exercise? With closures of gyms and the limitation of group gatherings during COVID-19, now is a great time to explore working out in the great outdoors. If you need a nudge to move your exercise outside, there’s plenty of incentive. Research suggests that outdoor exercise de- livers health benefits that can’t be duplicated indoors. And a key one is a bigger boost in positive emotions. One study, for example, found that outdoor workouts can lift your mood more and help you feel more energetic and revitalized than indoor ones. Another found that as few as five minutes of outdoor exercise can improve self-esteem, especially if you’re near greenery or water. Moving your workouts outdoors also lets you: Connect with nature. That’s one of the best perks of outdoor exercise. Think of it this way: Where are you likely to enjoy exercise more, on a treadmill in a crowded gym, or on a hiking trail in a nearby park? Save money. You don’t need a gym membership. The outdoors belongs to all of us. Potentially burn more calories. When you’re jogging or biking outdoors, a strong headwind can help you burn more calories. You have to work harder to overcome the wind’s resistance. Get out and enjoy! So rather than staying cooped up inside, take a brisk walk either alone to clear your mind or with a family member. Work out your muscles on a local hill, bike on a neighborhood street, or walk one lap and jog the next at a nearby school track. Or treat yourself to a walk in the woods, in a meadow or along a stream at a park. You can turn exercise into family time too. Play with your child (or grandchild) at a park, or take a nature hike together. After all, everybody deserves to have fun outdoors. Good for your body and soul