How Nature Enhances Physical Activity [2023]

Alone in the unspoilt wilderness

Are you someone who feels cooped up inside all day, wants to get rid of stress, and add some cheer to your life? You need to spend some time with Mother Nature!

Our team at Fitness and Nature™ has observed through a survey of our clients that incorporating nature into physical activities like exercise, sports, or leisure can significantly benefit overall health and wellbeing.

We have created this extensive guide to answer your questions on how nature affects physical activity, along with the latest research and studies. So, let’s dive in and explore the amazing benefits that nature can bring to your fitness routine!

How Does Nature Affect Physical Activity?

The answer is simple- positively! Here are some advantages of including nature in your physical routine:

1. Lower Stress Levels

Spending time in nature allows our mind and body to relax and rejuvenate. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels. Research has shown that spending time in green spaces can decrease cortisol levels, the hormone that induces anxiety, while increasing endorphin secretion, the hormone responsible for making us feel good.

2. Increased Physical Activity

Nature offers a perfect place to be physically active, engage in outdoor sports, and breathe fresh air. Therefore, nature can be an effective way to inspire and enhance physical activity levels, especially for children.

3. Focus and Attention Boost

Nature offers a calming environment that helps to improve focus and attention. Both children and adults have been found to benefit in this regard. Research has also found that just viewing pictures of nature can improve cognitive ability and lessen mental fatigue.

4. Boosted Immune System

Outdoor exposure can increase your Vitamin D levels naturally, which strengthens your immune system. Spending time in nature can reduce the incidence of allergies and improve overall wellbeing.

Does Environment Affect Physical Fitness?

Yes, the environment affects physical fitness. Here are some examples:

1. Weather

Extreme weather conditions like extremely hot summers, cold winters, and continuous rain can be discouraging for many people to step outdoors and engage in physical activities. Hence, it becomes crucial to plan activities around the favorable weather conditions for increased participation and fitness.

2. Urban Setup

Apart from extreme weather conditions, the urban setup with inadequate infrastructure and traffic can also deter people from engaging in physical activities. Here, one may have to choose between taking a gym membership indoors or exploring safe outdoor spaces for physical activity.

How Does Nature Affect Mental or Physical Health?

The incorporation of nature can positively influence both mental and physical health. Here are some ways nature affects mental and physical health:

1. Mental Health

Nature can benefit mental health significantly in the following ways:

a) Reduced Depression

Studies have shown that people who walk in natural environments experience fewer symptoms of depression or low mood.

b) Improves Sleep

A natural environment can help improve sleep patterns. Studies reveal that camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities can improve your sleep, helping you feel more rested and energized.

c) Reduces Anxiety

Nature’s calming effect can reduce anxiety levels and provide a sense of tranquility. Garden walking has been shown to be a beneficial tonic for reducing anxiety levels.

d) Addiction Recovery

Nature can play a vital role in addiction recovery. Studies show that being in nature can help individuals reduce their substance cravings, leading to better mental health and addiction recovery.

2. Physical Health

Nature can benefit physical health significantly in the following ways:

a) Increase in Physical Activity

Exposure to nature encourages physical activity, which contributes to overall physical health and wellbeing.

b) Reduced Incidence of Diseases

Being in nature, especially green spaces, can reduce inflammation and stress levels, leading to a better immune response and a reduced incidence of diseases.

c) Improved Weight Loss

Exposure to nature can encourage healthy choices such as walking or running, reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Quick Tips and Facts

Here are some quick tips and facts to consider when including nature in physical activity:

  • It is recommended to spend at least 120 minutes per week in natural surroundings for maximum benefits.
  • There is no need to go on a backpacking trip for the benefits of nature. Choosing a park, beach, or trail nearby can do wonders.
  • Walking in nature barefoot can improve balance and flexibility.
  • Swimming in natural water bodies can decrease stress levels and enhance mood.


Q: How does the environment affect physical activity?

The environment plays a significant role in physical activity. We have to choose between opting for indoors to avoid extreme weather conditions or finding safe outdoor spaces for physical activity.

Q: Does environment affect physical fitness?

Yes, the environment affects physical activity. Weather conditions and the urban setup can significantly impact physical activity and, in turn, physical fitness.

Q: How does nature affect mental or physical health?

Nature affects mental and physical health significantly. Exposure to nature can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve sleep, and boost the immune system, leading to overall better health and wellbeing.

Q. What are some outdoor activities I can do to incorporate nature in my fitness routine?

There are various outdoor activities you can choose from, such as cycling, hiking, trail walking, kayaking, swimming, gardening, and rock climbing.


We highly recommend incorporating nature into your physical activity routine. The benefits are vast and range from mental well-being to physical health. The easiest way to get started is to plan activities around your local green spaces, such as parks, trails, or the beach. With a little investment to include nature in your routine, you can enjoy the vast rewards it has to offer!


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