Tag Archives: outdoor exercise

Time Outside May Benefit Health – Study

According to a recent British study published in the journal Scientific Reports, spending at least two hours a week outside may be good for one’s health. Nearly 20,000 English people were asked how many hours they spent in natural environments like parks, forests, and beaches in the last seven days; whether they considered their health to be good or poor; and if they felt their well-being was high or low. Those reporting nature contact of at least two hours per week were significantly more likely to report ‘good’ health and ‘high’ well-being compared to those reporting zero. (No additional benefit was seen from spending over 3.5 to 5 hours in nature.)

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I shot this on a bike ride earlier this week. I love the reflections of the lights on Lake Michigan

While this association was seen even in people who did not meet current physical activity guidelines, the authors were unable to fully untangle time spent outside from time spent being active. It is possible that healthier, happier people are simply more likely to spend more time in nature or live in areas with more open space, but the association was seen even for those with long-term illness or disability. In this study, even people who needed to travel outside of their neighborhoods to reach a park or other natural area benefited from regularly spending time in nature.

As regular readers know, I am a nature lover. Here are a couple of my posts on being outside:

Urban greenspace boosts mental health

Tips on enjoying the outdoors safely

Benefits of exercising outdoors

Tony

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Filed under exercise outdoors, good health, happiness, nature, outdoors, Uncategorized

20 minute nature walk cuts stress levels – Study

I have written repeatedly that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. Now comes this wonderful study from the University of Michigan about how a 20 minute walk in contact with nature actually lowers your stress levels.
man and woman walking in forest

Photo by joenibraw on Pexels.com

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How to Beat the Heat

I wanted to reblog this item from last year on dealing with the heat as we seem to be entering another hot spell.The Weather Channel reported that 90 million of us will be under heat warnings this weekend. Please check this post out for suggestions on staying healthy and alive without maybe risking your life during extreme heat. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

I personally prefer extreme cold to extreme heat, because you can always add layers and go out, but with heat, no matter how much you take off, you are still uncomfortable once you are outside.

I cruised the web and wanted to share some of the suggestions of others in the same situation.

Our friends overseas at the Daily Mail offered some very down to earth ones, including: “Eat small meals and eat more often. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates breaking down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.”

A similar concept came up in my blog item The Brain is an Oxygen Burner explaining why we often feel sluggish after eating a big meal because digestion requires a lot of oxygen that would be going to the brain, but is diverted to the gut.

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Filed under Exercise, extreme heat, hot weather, outdoor exercise

Outdoor Work Makes for Strong Bones in Swedish Farmers

How many times have you read in these pages eat less, move more, live longer? More than I can count. So it was nice to learn that farmers in Sweden seem to have stronger bones as a result of their outdoor activity.

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A team of UK and Swedish researchers has released the findings of a new study which assessed the hip fracture risk of farmers in Sweden.

Sweden is one of the few countries which tracks hip fractures through a national registry. It is therefore possible to assess how hip fracture risk across the country varies according to occupation, economic status, level of education, latitude, and urban versus rural residence. Although hip fracture risk is known to be correlated to physical activity, that’s one of the variables, among others, which the registries can’t track. Continue reading

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More Exposure to Vegetation Linked with Lower Mortality in Women

I don’t know if that headline surprises you, but it doesn’t surprise me. As a daily bicycle rider, I get to enjoy the outdoors regularly and know that the setting benefits me as much as pedaling the bike.

Women in the U.S. who live in homes surrounded by more vegetation appear to have significantly lower mortality rates than those who live in areas with less vegetation, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The study found that women who lived in the greenest surroundings had a 12% lower overall mortality rate than those living in homes in the least green areas.

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The study suggests several mechanisms that might be at play in the link between greenness and mortality. Improved mental health, measured through lower levels of depression, was estimated to explain nearly 30% of the benefit from living around greater vegetation. Increased opportunities for social engagement, higher physical activity, and lower exposure to air pollution may also play an important role, the authors said.

The study was published online April 14, 2016 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The paper is available here.

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5 Reasons to Spend More Time Outside—Even When It’s Cold

Consider this as a companion piece to the post I filed two minutes ago on Exercising in Nature.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, outdoor exercise

6 Benefits of Exercising in Nature – Infographic

I was happy to discover this infographic as it meets a bias of mine. For some reason being cooped up in the health club really turns me off. That is not to say that I have anything against exercise. I just don’t like doing it cooped up in the health club. When there, I always feel like I am a prisoner forced to do these many reps. It is hard to enjoy being there.

On the other hand, just being outdoors feels good to my soul.

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Last but not least I am lucky enough to live by Lake Michigan, so I have the magnificent body of water as a backdrop for my bike riding, walking, running, etc. Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Blue Mind to learn more about the benefits of being around water. Also, if you related to this post, check out Reasons to Spend More Time Outside which I filed minutes after I posted this.

Tony

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11 Cold Weather Exercise Tips

In these waning days of November with the advent of cold weather, it is a good idea to remind ourselves that inclement weather conditions are not an excuse to blow off exercise. Last week I wrote Cold Weather Cycling for bike riders like me who go year ’round.

The National Institute on Aging has a number of very useful suggestions for continuing to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

Outside exercise is really good for you

Outside exercise is really good for you

If you want to walk, run, ski, ice skate, or any other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside, (Please read Shoveling Snow is Dangerous.):

Check the weather forecast.
If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with a Go4Life DVD and go out another time.

Watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.

Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.

Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.

Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.

Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.

Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

Know the signs of hypothermia:

Watch for signs of hypothermia: cold feet and hands, swollen face, pale skin, shivering, slurring words, acting sleepy, and being confused or angry.

Be on the lookout for later signs of hypothermia: moving slowly, trouble walking, slow heartbeat, shallow breathing, and blacking out.

Call 911 right away if you think someone might have hypothermia! Get the person inside and wrap him or her in a warm blanket.

Eat less; move more; live longer. We still need to do it regardless of the conditions outside.
Tony

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Filed under cold weather, Exercise, health, Uncategorized, Weight, winter