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It seems as though we wait all year for the few beautiful months of summer. When the sun shines and the weather is warm, we are all itching to be outside! Whether we’re going on evening walks, taking conference calls outside, planning weekend trips to the beach, or sitting out on a patio to catch up with friends (socially distanced of course), we all do our best to soak in these gorgeous months.

These beautiful summer months also provide the best environment to work out in the great outdoors! We know that exercise provides many mental and physical benefits. What if a simple change in location can increase those benefits exponentially?! Outdoor exercise combines movement with being outside, both of which just simply make us happy!

Benefits of Outdoor Exercise:

1. Improved Mood and Reduced Depression
Exercising outdoors gives you a mood boost which is exponentially higher than working out inside. Not only are you getting an increase in dopamine circulation (which helps you anticipate pleasure, feel motivated, and maintain hope), but the exposure to vitamin-D and sunlight enhances your mood as well.

2. Low Cost
People often site cost as one of the biggest limiting factors to regular exercise. When the days get warmer, moving and exercising every day becomes possible! Think of nature as your playground. There are many free walking and hiking trails that you can explore… and you can even consider bringing your yoga mat outside and putting on a free YouTube class in your own backyard!

3. Connecting with the Great Outdoors
One of the greatest benefits of outdoor exercise is the opportunity to connect with mother nature and the people and places in your community. Feeling more connected to nature has been shown to reduce stress and helps us engage more with others. Next time you’re out for a walk or bike ride, pop into your local coffee shop and connect with your community.

Ideas to Get Outside this Summer:

1. Plan a Walking, Running or Biking Route
There are countless walking, hiking and biking routes in many areas that you can easily access. If you are unsure of where to find them, a quick google search will point you in the right direction. If you do not live close to a good hiking trail, plan a day trip on the weekend with friends to get yourself moving outside!

2. Join an Outdoor Bootcamp
During the summer months, many trainers and gyms host their workouts outdoors. Ask around and find a style of training that interests you. This is a great opportunity not only to move and sweat outside, but to meet new people and get involved in the community.

3. Bring Your At-Home Workout Equipment Outside
Working out at home can save you time and money. When the weather gets nice, consider bringing your home equipment outside to do your exercise! Reap all the benefits that movement AND the great outdoors has to offer.

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