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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