Six Benefits Of Exercising Outside

outside exercise

Is it better to run outside or indoors on a treadmill? Well, we all have different answers to this old-age question. But the truth is, there are pros and cons to both. When there’s bad weather, the treadmill is very efficient.

However, running on a treadmill everyday does create that aimless, never-ending “hamster wheel” feeling. This is why I choose to exercise outside. And I want to share a six other reasons why I prefer the outdoors for exercise.


1. Outdoor workouts will make you happier

Your mind responds better to the outdoors. In fact, different studies have shown that there’s connection between spending time outside and reduced stress. According to a report published in Environmental Science and Technology, exercising outside creates greater feelings of energy, revitalization and positive thinking compared to exercising indoors. What I love the most is the feeling of breathing fresh air which helps release the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin unlike the recycled air.

2. You burn more calories

Nature’s form of resistance training – wind when running or cycling outdoors means you often burn more calories than if you were indoors. Furthermore, the hotter the weather, the harder your body has to work to cool down thus burning more calories. Not forgetting uneven ground and slopes that make your body work harder.

3. Your thoughts are clear

If there’s something of a cliché among runners, it’s how the activity never fails to clear your head. But it’s not just runners. When you fully engage in your surroundings; no earbuds, no mind wandering off thinking about whatever is  meditative, calming, and will put you in a much better mood and calmer place. “Closeness to nature increases our well-being. Also, it has an immunizing effect by protecting us from future stresses and helping us concentrate and think more clearly,” says Jo Barton, Ph.D. She conducted a study that analyzed the mental health of 53 people who were involved in indoor or outdoor activities for six weeks

4. You’ll never get bored

Exercising outside means you have a lot to look at. This makes you less likely to get bored . But that’s not it. One of the challenges of exercising is staying motivated. According to a study done in 2004, about half of those who join a gym usually don’t stick with it beyond the first year. However, people who exercise outside tend to stick with their exercise routines more consistently than those who train indoors. So, if consistency is your problem, then consider outdoor workouts.

5. There are less germs

Gyms are really not the havens of health we make them out to be. Lots of studies have shown that gyms are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Infectious diseases you can catch range from ring worms and athlete’s foot to herpes simplex and boils. It’s easy to avoid these hazards by wiping down equipment before, washing your hands often and wearing flip flops in the shower. On the other hand, you could just take your training outside.

6. Numbers won’t bother you

When you’re at the gym, you’re constantly looking at the time or kilometers.  But step outside and you’ll be amazed at how much faster time travels when you aren’t in the gym. It could be because of the scenery, seeing new faces or just quickly running past the house with the big dogs. The truth is, when you’re distracted by the environment, you’re less aware of your effort. And as such, you could even increase your workout by another hour without even knowing it.
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