Your 5 Step Plan: Staying Healthy for Hockey | Part Four: Get Outside

Here’s part four in our series about how to keep in tip-top shape on and off the ice: take it outdoors. Scroll to the end for an outdoor workout challenge! Be sure to run this challenge by a trusted adult–and maybe invite that adult to complete it with you.

Why Getting Outside Matters

Everyone benefits from getting outside and getting into nature. One study followed over 100,000 women and found that those who lived closest to nature lowered their mortality rate by 12%.

Over the course of your life, getting into the green can support overall health in a big way.

Another recent study pointed to the incredible mental health benefits of getting outside. The study looked at people who spend just 20 minutes in an urban park. Here’s the amazing part:

20.5 minutes in the park improved participants’ “life satisfaction” by 64%! In other words, just getting to a green space for less than half an hour can have major positive effects on how happy you are about your life.

You don’t have to go on a backpacking trip or live surrounded by a forest to reap the benefits of nature: just a little bit of exposure every day can have an outsized impact on physical and mental health.

Athletes Win Big Outside

Getting outside is important for everyone. It’s especially important for athletes like you!

Psychologists have actually compared workouts outside and inside to see if there was a difference in result: they found that outdoor workouts were associated with reduced anxiety as opposed to indoor workouts.

You shouldn’t take this to mean that indoor workouts aren’t great: Mayo Clinic details the amazing benefits of any kind of exercise, whether indoor or outdoor. The benefits of getting moving outdoors are helpful to know, though: if you have the choice between running a mile on the treadmill or a mile through a park, your body will thank you if you take that run outdoors!

Outdoor Workout Challenge

Check in with your parents or a coach before you complete this challenge.

Remember that circuit training workout we gave you? (Psst, it’s right here.) Good. Now, here’s the outdoor challenge:

  1. Grab a backpack and pack water or an electrolyte drink and some healthy snacks—think hummus and pita, almonds, an apple, or some trail mix. (Need ideas? Here are some of our helpful tips on nutrition.)
  2. Throw on some sneakers and jog or bike to a nearby You should ask a parent or adult to accompany you; or, you could ask to be dropped off and start a five-minute warm-up jog when there. If you need help finding one close by, your coach could probably help!
  3. Find a shady, grassy spot and complete our circuit workout.
  4. Stretch! You deserve it after that hard
  5. Refuel with the snacks & drink you brought with Nice work! You just checked off 20 minutes in nature.