Exercising Alfresco

In "The Producers", the riotous Mel Brooks movie classic from 1968, the wily and almost washed-up Broadway producer Max Bialystock (played famously by Zero Mostel) takes timid accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) to lunch. Bialystock steers Bloom to a hotdog vendor's run-down sidewalk stand just outside an entrance to New York City's Central Park. "We're dining alfresco" Bialystock pompously intones, sardonically tracing a big, broad semicircle with his hotdog to symbolically include all the glories of being outdoors.

Of course, "alfresco" means out-of-doors or in the open air. In Italian, "fresco" means cool or fresh. Dining in the open air is often much more fun than having a meal indoors. The same may be said for exercise - whenever you have a choice, exercising "alfresco" is often much more enjoyable. Exercising outdoors is more rewarding for many people and also provides a wide range of unexpected benefits.

According to Federal agencies, the average American spends about 90% of her time indoors. Coupled with this assessment is the fact that three-quarters of Americans and one billion people worldwide have deficiencies in Vitamin D, a prime life-supporting and health-enhancing nutrient. Exercising outdoors for 30 minutes several times per week will assist your body in manufacturing more sufficient quantities of this important vitamin.

Additionally, spending time outside helps improve both physical and mental health. Regular exercise is associated with helping to prevent numerous health disorders, including obesity, diabetes, colon cancer, hip fracture, high blood pressure,1 cardiovascular conditions, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.2

Sunlight tends to improve a person's mood, so being outdoors is a natural boost to one's frame of mind. Adding exercise to the mix naturally enhances this psychologically elevated state. Since 2005 researchers at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom have focused on the benefits of "green exercise". In one study, participants engaging in a green outdoor walk described improvements in self-esteem, overall mood, and vigor. Confusion, fatigue, anger, and tension were all substantially reduced.3

Even viewing green and rural environments reduced blood pressure measurements by almost 9% in 100 treadmillers compared to those viewing blank screens or viewing urban images. If viewing green spaces is beneficial, actually being out-of-doors is likely to provide even greater benefit.

The bottom line? Being outdoors will enhance the value of most exercise activities. Green exercise will often impact a person's life in ways unlooked-for and by means unexpected.

1Martins RA, et al: Effects of aerobic and strength-based training on metabolic health indicators in older adults. Lipids Health Dis 9(1):76, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]
2Donges CE, et al: Effects of resistance or aerobic exercise training on interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(2):304-313, 2010
3Barton J, Pretty J. Urban ecology and human health and well-being. In Gaston K, et al. (eds): Urban Ecology. British Ecological Society and Cambridge University Press, 2010

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Life would not be the same without Dr. Jayne! In addition to being the loveliest and most caring person, she's an extraordinary chiropractor. She truly has healing hands, an incredible knowledge of the body (MY body!), an uncanny gift for knowing exactly what the issue is right away, and then correcting it effectively. I always know I can rely on her to correct my neck and back issues when they arise, sometimes just after one visit. And Dr. Lou and Jayne's staff are wonderful - kind and patient, and always extremely helpful. I wouldn't go anywhere else."
    Beth B
  • "Dr Jayne and Dr Lou are both amazing! They offer not just great care, but a warm, welcoming atmosphere— truly family friendly! They go above and beyond and truly care about the whole patient, well beyond chiropractic care. Dr Jayne has offered amazing support and solace through my journey as a new mom and I will always be grateful!"
    Katherine G.
  • "Absolutely amazing ! First, the staff was very friendly. I am 8 months pregnant and I've had a lot of back/shoulder pain, and the doctor Jayne was very friendly and professional. You can tell she know what she's doing. She did an amazing job, when I got up from the chair I felt like I was 10 years old again ! My pain was completely gone. I am so happy I have found that place !"
    Manon J S.
  • "I've seen a whole bunch of chiropractors and Lou and Jayne are the best, by far. They're also two of the sweetest people I know."
    Scott C.
  • "I have no words to express my gratitude for Dr. Jayne. I was looking for a Webster Technique chiropractor during my pregnancy and I am so happy I found her. Thanks to her treatments we were able to turn the baby in optimal position and avoid any kind of medical interventions during delivery. But most of all, I valued her precious advice and physical and emotional support during before and after my baby was born. The most beautiful moment of all was giving my son his very first adjustment when he was only couple of days old. I definitely recommend her and her team!"
    Marija R.
  • "Dr Lou and Dr Jayne are fantastic. They've put my spine back in line and are always the nicest people to work with."
    Gerry G
  • "Friendly and welcoming. I enjoy my visits here as they are short and sweet, and really contribute overall health. Twice a week was all I needed and it has changed my world."
    Carlos C
  • "Dr. Lou has taken care of me for close to 20 years. ALWAYS spot on and just an amazing staff. Thank you for all you do."
    Marc W
  • "For two days I have been dealing with that ache in my bicep and having to stretch my hand and it constantly cracking...within minutes of leaving your office from my adjustment my ache is gone and no need to stretch the hand and when I did no cracking. Magic Hands I tell ya!!"
    Janice Bowman
  • "I highly recommend Family Chiropractors for all you health needs ..... From a tune up to a serious issue they will bring you back to the road of recovery ..... They are knowledgable and listen to your needs and concerns ..... I have gone to Dr Lou for over 10 years and I will tell you as a runnner and a yogi you can not find someone better or more caring ... Give them a try ... I believe you will be glad you did and so will your body."
    Thomas Randazzo
  • "It's miraculous how they make me feel better so quickly!"
    Richard Reiter
  • "Drs. Lou and Jayne are the best. Wonderful with even the very youngest children and babies, all the way to folks in later life. Friendly, personable, and strong at what they do -- each with his or her own style. Great to have appointments with both of them! They also have things like a water massage table, which is a wonderfully relaxing mini-escape, and laser treatments for things like carpal tunnel. They are also a gay-friendly business, which encourages me to refer more folks to them."
    Elizabeth Schroeder
  • "Love that place"
    Joe V