Outdoor Exercise: 8 Reasons to Take Your Workout Routine Outside

Genius Will Strike

But you've gotta leave your gadgets at home.

The Proof: After a four-day hike sans technology, people did 50 percent better on a creativity test. University of Utah researchers say an hour of nature time yields some bennies, if you unplug. Smarter without a smartphone.

More: Active City Spotlight: Boston

Stupid-High Energy

Nature is your new venti skim latte.

The Proof: Just 20 active minutes outside can wake up your body and mind, making you feel more alive, University of Rochester researchers say. And it doesn't cost you $4.

MORE FROM SELF: What to Eat for All-Day Energy ?

Um, Fewer Germs!

What you don't have to stress about when sweating alfresco: a gross staph infection.

The Proof: Ten percent of gym surfaces tested positive for the bacteria in a Virginia Commonwealth University study. Ewww.

You'll Zen Out

You know that sense of peace you get jogging in a park? Not your imagination.

The Proof: Exercisers reported being less tense and tired, and calmer, during any activity done outside rather than in, probably because those surroundings felt more serene, a Santa Clara University study notes.

More: Skip Away the Pounds: 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout

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About the Author

Marissa Stephenson

SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

SELF gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

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