Despite being close to the beginning of fall, it’s still summer! We’ve got to take advantage while we still can. When the weather is nice, it’s important that you maximize your time out in the sun everyday. The sun is a great source of energy and happiness, a source you should take advantage of.
The gym certainly has its’ allure, with a predictable, convenient, and climate-controlled environment, but this is only essential during the winter months. In the summer, you’ve got more freedom to adapt your workout plan to include more outdoor workouts.
At Vitality Fitness, we believe in the benefits of a well-rounded plan for getting in shape and staying in shape. While many of our classes are based in a gym setting, we recognize the advantages of exercising outdoors as well.
Because of this, we strive to provide our readers with the resources they need to design and implement an effective workout plan. Coming to the gym a few days a week is a nice routine, and you’ll develop relationships with other regulars, it’s always good to switch things up now and then.
Here are a few amazing benefits of exercising outdoors:
Running: Stride Differences
As it pertains to running as means of cardiovascular exercise, there are significant differences between running inside on the treadmill and running outside on the dirt or pavement. Studies have found that most people actually stride differently when they run outside than when running indoors.
When running on the street, runners tend to flex their ankles more than when running on a treadmill. In addition, outdoor runners will come across the occasional downhill stretch, which is difficult to replicate on a treadmill. Running downhill stresses muscles in a much different manner than when running on a flat or uphill surface.
When it comes to energy exertion, studies have found that regular indoor treadmill runners expend less energy to cover the same distance as the dedicated outdoor runner. The primary reason for this difference is that indoor runners do not face any external factors, such as wind resistance or changes in terrain.
Cycling has been proven to have a similar dynamic, as wind drag faced by outdoor riders greatly increases the amount of energy that they expend in comparison to an indoor cyclist that’s covering the same amount of mileage. Exercising outside can help you burn just as many, or more, calories in much less time than it would typically require in the gym.
Aside from the purely physical benefits of outdoor exercise, studies have also found that people who regularly exercise outdoors tend to enjoy their time more than those doing the same workouts in a gym or other indoor setting.
The increased happiness levels associated with outdoor exercise are generally accompanied by an increase in workout time. A study recently showed that older adults that exercise outside regularly are more likely to engage in their workout for longer periods of time than those adults participating in similar workouts inside.
When it comes down to it, the fact that you’re making an effort to workout at all is what truly matters. Just make sure not to miss out on valuable time exercising outdoors. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh air to get your heart rate going!