They’re not called the great outdoors for nothing! Exercising in the arms of Mother Nature might be more beneficial than working out indoors…
“Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you wanna move your dancing feet, yeah”
Champion weather has a strange way of pulling a seemingly powerless me outdoors. I will think of any excuse to work, eat, hang, write, nap and exercise outside. While it might seem like an obvious choice to some, working out outside can be a little intimidating. I’ve been there! But did you know that exercising outside might actually be more beneficial than letting loose inside? Let me explain…
It will make you happy! There are multiple benefits to working out outside, but shouldn’t this be the most important one? Working out outside has a 50% greater positive effect on mental health than going to the gym, states Scottish researchers. Being outdoors — in the fresh air, being showered with Vitamin D — will give your body an endorphin high. Think breathing natural air versus recycled gym air. Not the greatest thought, right? In addition, according to the Environmental Science and Technology, a 30-minute walk in the park left 71% of people feeling less stressed, while 72% of people who take their walks indoors actually feel more stressed.
You burn more calories. This is a two-point point. One, people who work out outside actually exercise longer, hence burning more calories. Being outdoors gives you unpredictability and change of scenery, so you are always visually stimulated and focused on your surroundings. Working out on the elliptical or treadmill (though given the choice to be distracted by a TV) doesn’t give you the option for visual variety so we (or at least I) am more apt to stare at the ticking clock. Second, the change in terrain and weather allows for more calories to be burned. Because we set up our own resistance on a machine, we can become less challenged. But outdoor workouts have wind, the sun (heat) and natural changes in elevation, leaving us to work harder.
It’s free. No membership fees, no trainer or class costs, no gas spent getting to the gym, or dealing with parking. Now that’s a good deal.
Ease of schedule. One of my biggest challenges in getting to the gym is fitting my time into the gym’s schedule. Most establishments have opening and closing times but the outdoors are always ready for you. There are nights when I don’t finish work until 9pm, which makes it easy to blow off the gym. However, I always have the option to go for a walk or a jog around my neighborhood or pull my yoga mat outside for a good stretch. Outside is always open.
+What do you prefer — outside or indoors? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Model: Anna Trosko
Hair and makeup by Karolina Bernaut.
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