With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to mix up your routine by taking your workout outside. After all, exercising outdoors may improve energy levels and decrease stress to a greater extent than working out inside. But if your habitat is more concrete jungle than bucolic park, don’t sweat it—there are plenty of benefits to exercising inside as well.
According to one review that included more than 800 subjects, exercising outdoors came with a slew of benefits. Participants reported feelings of revitalization, decreased anger, and increased energy. Another study found that the outdoors have an overall positive effect on vitality, or your sense of enthusiasm, aliveness, and energy. Finally, simply spending more time outside has been shown to prevent increases in obesity among children.
And there are other perks. Vitamin D—one of the fat-soluble vitamins essential to strong bones and a healthy immune system—can be attained via sun exposure. While much debate exists around the guidelines, some researchers suggest that five to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at least twice a week is sufficient for vitamin D synthesis. Of course, this recommendation also comes with a caveat you already know: Always wear sunscreen and cover up when possible.