All you need is a bench or picnic table, and you can take your workout outdoors.

Green Exercise

Why you should bring your workouts outdoors this summer

By Gabriella Enniss

With the warmest season here, you may be craving more time outside. The sun on your skin, the refreshing tree canopy, the sounds of nature and the vibrant colors all generate positive feelings that are hard to ignore. Why not exercise outdoors?

Working out in the fresh air is not a new concept, but more studies now show that there could be extra perks to doing what’s called “green exercise.”1 Let’s discuss some of the most impactful benefits below.

Need some inspiration to take your workout outdoors? Click the box below for workouts created and demonstrated by local certified personal trainer Gabriella Enniss.

It improves mood. Studies have shown that individuals who exercise outdoors feel a higher boost to their mood and self-esteem within the first five minutes of green exercise than those working out indoors. People may also experience decreased feelings of anxiety and depression.2

It may lower the perceived level of exertion. In one study, participants who walked outdoors felt less fatigued and worked their bodies harder than participants indoors. The suggested reasoning is that the stimulus of pleasant scenes offers a distraction that allows participants to work harder without noticing the change in effort.3

It’s cost-effective. No gym? No problem! For anyone looking for a budget-friendly workout option, the Fit Trail behind Ballantyne Corporate Place offers a three-quarters-of-a-mile path with 20 workout stations and is free for all to use. There’s also more access to local greenways than ever before! See the map on p. 48 for wayfinding.

It helps you practice mindfulness. Being in nature allows you to passively engage your brain, where you see and feel nature without requiring intense brain work. Having these types of breaks allows your brain to reset so you can have improved focus and concentration for your next big meeting.

  1. Gretchen Reynolds, “Why an Outdoor Workout Is Better for You Than Indoors,” The Washington Post, April 12, 2023.
  2. Valerie F. Gladwell, Daniel K. Brown, Carly Wood, Gavin R. Sandercock and Jo L. Barton, “The Great Outdoors: How a Green Exercise Environment Can Benefit All,” Extreme Physiology and Medicine 2, no. 3 (January 2013).
  3. Gladwell et al., “The Great Outdoors.”