Here are four ideal reasons to exercise outdoors if you’re working hard at losing excess weight.
1. You’ll burn more calories
Working out in a controlled environment day after day can result in your body growing used to indoor conditions, which means you could have a more difficult time losing weight and making gains. Not only is the temperature regulated indoors, but the machines you use can be controlled to the degree that your body knows what to expect every single time.
On the flip side, heading outdoors for your workouts presents a number of uncontrollable factors that can make your body work harder, such as wind and hot temperatures that make your body sweat more. Anyone who frequently runs outdoors will agree that running on a treadmill is often far easier and presents less of a challenge. This summer, take your workout outdoors to experience faster weight loss; just make sure you bring plenty of water.
2. You’ll have an easier time breathing
Indoor air is more than twice as polluted as outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s because dust, allergens, and other people can contribute to indoor air pollution, especially if any people exercising around you are sick or have a virus. To avoid having to face unpleasant gym odors and to lower your risk of becoming sick due to being around infected individuals, head outdoors, where you’ll have an unlimited supply of fresh air and a lower risk for airborne illness.
3. You’ll save more money
You don’t necessarily need a gym membership to stay in shape. If you lift weights and do strength training, consider abandoning weight machines in favor of body-weight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and planks. If you enjoy running on the treadmill, run on a path or nearby trail, or go for a jog around your neighborhood. If you enjoy climbing stairs, jog up bleacher stairs at a nearby park or stadium, and if you enjoy swimming, consider visiting your local community center. Some parks even have workout stations so you can do pull-ups, dips, and similar exercises. Then, use the cash you save on your gym membership to buy new workout clothes, athletic shoes, and other equipment that can help motivate you to stick to your exercise routine.
4. You’ll feel much happier
Outdoor exercise has a more positive impact on your mood than indoor exercise, according to a series of studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health. In one study, participants were asked to take a walk on the treadmill indoors or around an indoor track, as well as a walk outdoors. At the end of the study, participants revealed they enjoyed walking outdoors more than they enjoyed being indoors, and also scored higher on psychological tests that assessed their moods. If you’re not quite feeling up for your workout, take it outdoors for the day, and you might find yourself feeling happier and much more positive about exercise.