It's time to step off the treadmill and get into nature to squeeze in a little exercise.
1 of 8Cary Jobe
The Great Outdoors Advantage
When spring’s warm weather calls, it’s time to trade the fluorescent lights for sunshine and make the outdoors your gym. We found the perfect one-stop shop to tempt you into action―the Virginia Creeper Trail near Abingdon, Virginia. Originally an American Indian pathway, this former railroad bed stretches for about 34 miles, offering traffic-free paths and trails for biking, jogging, and exploring that beat the treadmill any day. Need more incentive? Check out our seven advantages of being outdoors.
2 of 8
1. Increase Energy
Make it a combo to supersize your energy level. Together sunshine, fresh air, and walking add up to more endorphins, or happy hormones.
3 of 8
2. Boost Vitamin D
Your body soaks up bone-fortifying vitamin D from the sunlight, something we all need. Plus, a healthy glow looks fabulous with your spring wardrobe. (Don’t forget the sunscreen.)
4 of 8
3. Reduce Stress
While outside, take a moment to enjoy the dogwoods, redbuds, azaleas, and greenery. More than eye candy, experiencing nature with your senses reduces stress.
5 of 8Van Chaplin
4. Family Fun
Encourage your children to go wild with you outside. Who doesn’t love to play? Take the kids for a casual family nature walk. Everyone will fit in some exercise. Plus, when kids learn from nature, they do better in the classroom.
6 of 8Van Chaplin
5. Burn Calories
Row, row, row your boat (or kayak, canoe, or raft) to burn 230-350 calories an hour for an average-size person (130-155 pounds). How’s that for splashy results?
7 of 8Van Chaplin
6. Have Fun
Remember the carefree fun of biking around the neighborhood when you were a kid? Well, you can experience the same joy as an adult. Plus, an hour of leisurely bicycling burns 230-280 calories.
8 of 8
7. Make the Swap
If you’re not already motivated to swap the gym for open air, consider this: You can burn up to 30% more calories doing the same physical activities outdoors rather than indoors. Enough said.