Outdoorphins: Proof that Outdoorsy Folks are Happier

Alex and I have been friends for nearly 9 years and, boy, do we make an unlikely pair. He’s a 6ft something, 200plus pound, sexy black man and I’m a 5’7, curvaceous, and (might I add) dead sexy, white girl. One thing we have had in common in recent years is fitness. He’s a personal trainer and I’ve become an outdoors nut, so once a week or so I’ll text him asking for a new workout routine. If I decide to skip a workout, I’ll guiltily confess to him. To which he replies,cx

“I’m sorry. I can’t hear you over all of that cellulite.”

He’s a real sweetheart.

One day, while I was blathering on about canyoneering, hiking, and climbing 14’000 foot mountains, Alex asked me a question that caught me off guard:

Why? Why do you do it all?

I actually had to pause for a moment, not to think, but rather to wrap my mind around the fact that I’d never asked myself that question. The answer was so inherent and obvious to me that it never begged to be discussed.

Why? Because it makes me happy.

Alex seemed pleased with this answer and we moved on to talking about my cellulite again. Did I mention he’s a jackass?

Being outdoorsy, for whatever reason, truly makes me happier, healthier, and connects me to nature on a deep and meaningful level but is there any science to back up this phenomenon? I checked it out and you’re darn tootin’ there is.

I totally stole this catchy word from an article in Fitness Magazine because it perfectly illustrates my point: Endorphins (produced during exercise, excitement, and orgasm) bombard us in the outdoors; not only because we’re moving our bodies but because we’re actually taking joy and pleasure in our surroundings.  Makes me wanna go have an Outdoorgasm right now (Too much?).

Soak up the Sun
Moderate exposure to the sun promotes Vitamin D which does all sorts of cool things for your hot bod, like making your bones stronger, preventing some forms of cancer, and boosting immune function. Note: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN! You’re not gonna be happy when you look like a leather bag and have to have a couple dozen moles removed.

A Balancing Act
Balancing on roots, rocks, grass, and tough terrain like boulders promotes muscle stability more so than pounding the pavement or playing hamster on the treadmill. Think you’re a kickass runner cause you do 6 miles at the gym every day? Try trail running, at altitude, with elevation gain. Then we’ll talk.

That being said, get into nature and have an Outdoorgasm of your own. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.