Playing sports is extremely beneficial to health, whether it is done in closed or open spaces. However, with the arrival of longer hours of sunshine during the day and higher temperatures, it certainly feels more like exercising outside.
There are numerous findings that scientifically support the fact that doing sports outdoors enhances the benefits of it .
For example, a recent study – carried out by researchers at the University of Essex, in the United Kingdom – found that during the first five minutes of exercise outdoors, whatever the activity carried out, is when there is a greater increase in self-esteem and improved mood , compared to doing the same activity indoors.
Other great benefits of playing sports outside are:
1. The level of endorphins – also known as the ‘hormones of happiness’ – that are generated by doing sports outdoors is higher than in an enclosed space, and is even higher if it is also done in a group with family or friends.
2. Biomechanically it is much better to practice certain activities outside . Running in natural circuits allows you to exercise in a better way all the muscles and tendons of the extremities when there are changes of direction, unevenness and even rhythm. Also, riding a bicycle outdoors represents a greater effort, since the natural resistance of the wind is present, which allows you to burn a greater amount of calories.
3. Taking advantage of the hours of sunshine to play sports has a positive influence on obtaining vitamin D , a vitamin that the body produces when the skin is exposed directly to the sun and that fixes calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone formation.
4. After exercising in green spaces, blood pressure returns to baseline more quickly than when exercising indoors.
5. It reduces the feeling of fatigue , since the environment provides our nervous system with various pleasant stimuli that serve as a distraction and reduce awareness of physiological sensations or negative emotions. This can help increase the amount of physical activity done and the motivation to continue.
Some considerations for practicing outdoor sports:
-Wear suitable breathable clothing.
-Makes good hydration, especially in hot weather.
-Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
-If you live in big cities, try to exercise in parks or green areas, avoiding busy streets and especially the hours when there may be more pollution.