5 reasons to make outdoor fitness a livelier place on campus
Most colleges and universities have guidelines for how much square foot space per student they should provide for indoor recreation or strength training. As enrollment increases and indoor spaces become less abundant, campus recreation departments use outdoor areas for health education and fitness.
See how to make the outdoor sports space on campus more exciting and lively. It will encourage students to have more fun when exercising outdoors, improving their health capacity and quality of life.
1. Vitamin D – A gift from the sun for your health
According to the survey, the average college student entirely spends time indoors or in dormitories. That much time indoors can lead to Vitamin D deficiency.
With Vitamin D deficiency, students suffer from weakened immune systems, higher levels of inflammation, depressed mood, and poor bone health. The good news is that spending at least 10-30 minutes outdoors two to three days a week can help your body maintain healthy Vitamin D levels.
2. Outdoor exercise challenges to body and mind in new ways
When you exercise outdoors, changes in the environment and terrain force you to adapt to your surroundings. You work in new and different ways to maintain your movements and stay focused on the exercise.
For example, running on a treadmill is a repetitive exercise with little or no variation. Compared to running outdoors, running outdoors can vary with the terrain, altitude, and effort required. This type of variation to your training can make it more beneficial and reduce the adaptability of different muscle groups.
3. Outdoor fitness is a social experience
Colleges that do outdoor training and workouts report an increase in peer participation. Students love to meet for an activity or jog around campus. It encourages social interaction, which is essential to improving quality of life.
Furthermore, there is an additional level of responsibility that comes with exercising outdoors. You are more likely to attend if you have a standing appointment to join your friends at a training class or run in groups.
4. It makes exercise more fun and enjoyable
College can be difficult for students, both physically and emotionally. Being in nature outdoors has been linked to a positive mood and reduced anxiety – so is exercise. When you combine the two, you’ll increase the enjoyment of your workouts by levels.
Students at the College of William & Mary encourage other students to spend time outdoors during exam time. They offer nature maps, tips for reducing anxiety, and different ways to deal with the stresses of college life. At UC Davis, students are encouraged to spend time outdoors engaging in fun, physical activities as part of their NatureRx classroom.
These outdoor efforts produce positive results, such as:
- Improved cognitive ability to focus and increase attention
- Higher mood and improved overall sense of well-being
- Reduce physical and psychological stress
- Strengthen social connections and improve the quality of social relationships
- Improve overall physical and mental health
5. Exercising outdoors produces quick results
One of the most remarkable things about exercising outdoors is that students quickly notice physical and emotional results. In as little as 120 minutes per week, cognitive and emotional benefits begin to accrue. Students saw improvements in their physical well-being within a similar time frame.
And students can easily add exercise time to their schedule. A 30-minute session of outdoor exercise every day of the week will help, or a couple of runs during the week with a long walk on the weekend will do. It’s important to make spending time outdoors a habit and a priority.
Make outdoor fitness an integral part of your campus
Outdoor exercise offers many unique benefits for college students. Students who spent time exercising outdoors reported improved mood, better focus and concentration, and reduced stress. By providing outdoor training space, your campus recreation department can free up space indoors and help students realize the benefits of outdoor exercise.
If you are interested in planning an outdoor fitness area or adding outdoor exercise equipment to your premises, contact Fitness Source for specific advice.