For those who are trying to improve their health and fitness level, diet and exercise can be very important. Daily exercise can help burn calories and keep the body’s metabolic rate high, making weight loss easier. Although some people have good success with indoor exercise equipment, either at home or at a fitness club, there are several advantages to exercising outdoors.
No More Excuses
An outdoor workout eliminates many of the popular excuses for not getting your daily exercise. If you exercise indoors, there’s always the chance that the gym or health club will be closed. If you’re accustomed to exercising outdoors, even if you’re traveling you won’t have an excuse to wait until you get back home to use your elliptical machine or treadmill. After all, no matter where you go, you can always go outdoors and take a brisk walk. This is true even in the winter. If you have fewer excuses, you’ll be more likely to stick to your routine. Plus, exercising outdoors is almost always free, and requires little or no equipment.
More Physically Challenging
Even if you’re accustomed to walking on a treadmill each morning, a walk up a hilly hiking path can be a whole different challenge. Exercising outdoors presents several challenges that just don’t exist indoors. In addition to the hills, you’ll find that exercising outside can burn more calories due to the wind or cold. Walking on an uneven surface is also good for your sense of balance and can work different muscle groups as compared to walking on a smooth treadmill belt. In fact, some indoor exercise equipment even tries to simulate an uneven exercise surface specifically to help a person exercise their “core.” Sure, some treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary cycles have computerized routines that can simulate a varied terrain. But somehow it’s just not quite as good as the real thing. Plus, if you are walking on a treadmill, you can always get off and end your exercise routine at any time if you become bored. Even if you change your mind halfway through an outdoor walk, you’ll still have to finish the workout so that you can get back home.
It’s hard to beat the mental uplift one gets from taking a walk outside in the sunshine. It can cheer you up even when you’re feeling down. Most people spend the majority of their day indoors, making outdoor exercises something of a treat. Plus, instead of working out in stale inside air under glaring fluorescent lights, you can absorb a bit of mood and health-enhancing vitamin D from the sun. Exercising outdoors also provides a sense of freedom, which can be very inspiring and uplifting, while indoor exercising can often be boring and repetitive. Walking, jogging, running, sports, or other outdoor exercises can reduce stress, boost your energy, and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. All of these activities can enhance your attention span, mental clarity, and energy level. So, get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful sunshine, and interesting sights.