Going out for a walk in the park is a great way to relieve stress and recharge your batteries, but did you know that exercising outside offers more significant benefits than sweating at the gym? There are even studies showing that men who prefer exercising outside lose weight and get toned faster than those training at the gym.
If you have been looking for a reason to ditch your gym membership, besides long commutes and the judgmental looks from others, here are 12 solid ones.
It’s a much more enjoyable activity
Exercising at the gym quickly becomes a boring routine. As determined as you may be to continue to get in shape, you will soon find going to the gym a chore, and with that, your motivation may start to waver, too.
That’s not what happens when you exercise outdoors. The surrounding nature, the other people happening to jog alongside you, and the lack of monotony that comes with indoor places, will contribute to making exercising much more enjoyable.
You get a lungful of fresh air with each breath
Every breath you take matters when you exercise because your lungs need to be fueled with oxygen. However, no matter how great your gym may be, inhaling and exhaling the same stuffed air, cleaned only by the air conditioning units installed everywhere, is surely not healthy.
When you run in the park or perform other exercises, you will be able to breathe in the fresh air. Your lungs, heart, and entire circulatory system will benefit from this intake of healthy air; even more, you will discover that your exercises are much more effective.
Your joints will be thankful for ditching the treadmill
There are many ways running outside is better than running on a treadmill. The flat surface on which you are jogging when you are at the gym doesn’t do a world of good to your joints. They are subjected to more stress, and that’s why you might not feel too tempted to use the treadmill too often.
Also, when running outside, there is such a thing as wind resistance. According to smart people conducting studies on the topic, this aspect alone is enough to have you burn 10% more calories than when you use a treadmill.
You’re going to spend a little less time indoors
The human body wasn’t made to sit in front of a computer, or hunched over a smartphone, sending messages, and looking at funny cat videos. No matter how you look at things, it is sure that you spend way too much time indoors daily.
At least when you want to exercise, you should use this opportunity to avoid spending even more time indoors. Even if you sweat at the gym, that still doesn’t provide you with the benefits of breathing in fresh air or getting your necessary dose of vitamin D.
You will lose more weight
It is not only about running in the park, as shown earlier. Regardless of the type of exercise you pick, you will be able to burn more calories and lose more fat. Again, it is not just hearsay information; researchers specialized in monitoring the benefits of outdoor exercising discovered that men who prefer to go outside to exercise instead of the gym lose, on average, 6% more fat, than the others.
Your immune system will get a well-deserved boost
Something wonderful happens when you exercise outdoors. Earlier, you learned about how your lungs can benefit from breathing in the fresh air. That’s not the only thing that happens, and it’s your entire immune system that receives a boost when you spend more time out of the house, and away from the urban jungle.
You will sleep better
No matter how intense your gym regimen may be, you may still suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleeping patterns if you spend too much time indoors. It is well known that getting enough physical activity outside will help you sleep better at night and recharge your batteries.
You can exercise without actually exercising
When you go to the gym, you know well what to expect. You will perform the same routines, run on the treadmill, and so on. But you don’t have to force yourself within the same limits when you go outside. You can, for instance, go on a trip to the great outdoors, and enjoy activities that are not exercising in the gym-related sense of the word.
You can go hiking, camping, or bird watching. You can also go hunting and fishing, and enjoy nature in all possible ways. Should you worry that you might not be able to hunt anything, get some trail cameras from Primos and have technology on your side. On your way back home, you’ll feel like a real conqueror.
There are no fees
If you decide to exercise outdoors, instead of going to the gym, that will benefit not only you but also your pocket. No one charges you anything if you go for a walk or a jog in the park. Seeing how some gym memberships can be pretty hefty, here is another reason why you should consider switching to this alternative.
You can cut down on time wasted with commutes
Not everyone has a gym in his area, so that’s one thing to consider. If you need to battle traffic and rush hours to go to the gym and then back, the health benefits you get from exercising might be shadowed by all this waste of time and the frustration over losing it like this.
Time is precious, and exercising outside can help you deal with this issue, too. For instance, you can check for places you can use for jogging somewhere near you. If such locations are much closer than the gym you typically go to, that’s already a gain since you won’t have to waste time with commutes like before.
Diversify your workout setting
Any gym, no matter how state of the art it may be, is just a place indoors that is bound to get stuffy and unpleasant. But with the various opportunities offered to people who want to work out, such as jogging trails, sports fields, and other similar venues, it would be a shame to spend hours cooped up inside.
Vary your workout setting, and exercise in different ways. The human body tends to get bored with the same-old, same-old, routine, and that may be a reason for hitting a plateau. If you notice little to no changes, as often and as hard as you exercise, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Enjoy the serotonin high
You might have heard about how physical activity manages to help with the release of endorphins in the brain, and you might have even experienced it during your workouts. Guess what? If you choose to exercise outside, the feel-good hormones will be produced at even higher rates.
So, if you just wanted an excuse to switch to outdoor workouts, here is one that’s as good as any. You can say you got hooked on serotonin, and that’s the healthiest way to feel happy.