, September 26th, 2013 | Health
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Autumn is a beautiful time to enjoy the outdoors. The combination of nature’s beauty and physical activity will give you a total mind/body workout. In addition to the physical benefits, exercise will help reduce your anxiety and boost your mood.
According to the American Council on Exercise, you will experience the most stress relief when you exercise outdoors or away from the workplace, and one exercise session can give you 90-120 minutes of increased relaxation. That means your muscles will be less tense and your outlook more positive. Other benefits include a better self image and more nutritious eating habits.
Here are some ideas to help you take advantage of what outdoor exercise has to offer:
- Take your pet to the park. Walk around, admire the colorful foliage and watch the squirrels gather acorns for the winter. You’ll both enjoy the fresh air.
- Play games in your back yard. Set up an area for horseshoe pitching, croquet or bocce. Get the entire family involved.
- Round up some friends to toss a football or shoot some hoops.
- Head for a hiking trail. Burn calories while you escape from your worries at home. Make sure your shoes have good traction and the path is safe.
- Build muscles through yard work. For your upper body, pull some weeds, rake or hoe. For your lower body, try some digging. For a cardiovascular workout, take the push mower for a spin. If you stay at it for an hour, you could burn as many as 300 calories.
- Drive to work? Park ten minutes away from the office and walk.
- Doing lunch? Walk for 15 minutes each noon outside the office.
- Got a minute? Hey, just take a deep breath and smell the roses.
What will you get from spending more time with nature? Mental refreshening. Spiritual awakening. Plus that occasional moment of quiet joy in an otherwise hectic life. (Psst…remember? That’s what life is supposed to be about!)