Studies have shown that outdoor workouts produce greater health benefits.
Now that the winter season has officially ended and we are welcoming in our first few weeks of spring, people all across the country are bidding farewell to their treadmills and indoor gyms and are taking their workouts outside among mother nature. Not only is outdoor fitness a great way to switch up your typical indoor workout routine and get some new scenery, but it also allows for a greater variety of fitness activities, such as tennis, hiking or even swimming if you live nearby the water.
However, the sights and the sounds of nature are not the only benefits that come with working out outside. There is evidence to support the claim that green exercise — physical activity that is performed outside in the presence of nature?can actually decrease a person’s risk of mental illness and improve their overall sense of well being. For employees, this can also mean increased motivation in the work place and a greater sense of drive and energy.
Many other studies have also shown that regular outdoor exercise can create feelings of happiness and improve your employee’s attitude. This is because when we exercise, endorphins are released into our brain, lifting our spirits and lightening our mood. In fact, recent studies in Britain have concluded that, with the added addition of exercising outside among nature, many people experienced a greater feeling of revitalization and positive energy. In turn, this leads to a decrease in feelings of tension, confusion, anger and depression.
This is a significant benefit for employees, especially when you consider the many corporate costs that are associated with poor mental and emotional health. For example, research shows that people with symptoms of depression have a greater increase in time lost from work, and also have higher rates of productivity loss, absenteeism and job abandonment.
Luckily, exercising also helps to boost employees’ confidence, along with reducing anxiety and stress, all of which contribute to psychological health and well-being. Plus, people who participated in regular green exercise reported that they found greater enjoyment and satisfaction from exercising outdoors, as opposed to indoor exercise, and were much more likely to repeat the activity at a later date.
And the best part about the benefits of green exercise? Most of these positive effects were reported after as little as five minutes of outdoor fitness?just long enough for your employees to fit some exercise in during their lunch break or before they head into the office. While exercising for longer than just a few minutes is important for reaping significant health benefits such as weight loss and muscle development, it’s still nice to know that a quick walk around the park or short bike ride in your neighborhood can notably improve your employee’s mood.
Be sure to encourage your employees to take advantage of these gorgeous spring days that we have coming up and to get outside to participate in some green exercise. Not only will their heart and health thank you, but going green will also provide significant benefits to your company’s bottom line when it comes to the improved health and wellness of your employees. For more information why corporate-sponsored wellness programs can be beneficial for your company, be sure to contact Walkingspree today to learn about our award-winning wellness programs.