Are Indoor or Outdoor Workouts Better For You?

Are Indoor or Outdoor Workouts Better For You?

Some of us like to take our morning jogs served with a side of sunlight and greenery. And then there are those of us who like “The Bachelor” to accompany our rigorous treadmill workouts.

A lot has been said about the advantages of exercising outdoors versus indoors. Now, don’t sweat it just yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other.

Plus Side of The Sunny Outdoors

Research has proven that the great outdoors does indeed have a positive effect on your sense of enthusiasm, energy and vitality. Negative ions present in the outdoors are created when air molecules come in contact with sunlight, radiation, air and water. These electrically charged particles have been proven to generate feelings of alertness, clarity and better moods. They are found in large numbers in the mountains, near the oceans and in clean air after a strong thundershower.

The biggest perk perhaps is that the elusive Vitamin D – a vitamin that is essential to strong bones and a healthy immune system – is best synthesized under sunlight. In fact, 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, twice a week, is enough for Vitamin D synthesis.

woman running along water

Photo Credit: rezalutionrunning.pulsemob.com

Exercising outdoors brings with it the challenges of battling the wind and surprise terrains thereby strengthening the body more effectively than an indoor workout. Between swimming, hiking, horseback riding or cycling, you have the option of mixing it up to prevent workouts from becoming stale or monotonous. Myriad health benefits aside, perhaps the best part about exercising outside is that you don’t have to wait in line to use the machines at a crowded gym. And yes, the great outdoors is absolutely free!

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students waiting in line

Photo Credit: onwardstate.com

However, there are a few factors to consider before you completely switch to an outdoor fitness regime. Depending on sweltering summers and chilly winters, you need to protect yourself from heat strokes, dehydration, frostbites and hypothermia. Also, if you live in a neighborhood that’s wrapped in a blanket of smog and dust, it’s probably safer to just exercise indoors. Such environmental factors can trigger respiratory health issues like asthma or allergies. Besides, gyms offer exciting social environments and fitness enthusiasts can be sure to get the proper training and guidance before setting off on their workout regimens. And need we say more about the spas, swimming pools and saunas that add a certain style to working out indoors?

Which is Really Better?

Now that we’ve sufficiently confused you about which is better, let’s get straight to the answer. Exercising anywhere is always good for you. But exercising everywhere is even better. Controlled environments found at the gym or an indoor Zumba class will keep you on the right track towards achieving your goals, with measurable results and enough guidance. And feeling the earth beneath your feet and inhaling the salty beach air is enough to set you free. It’s advisable to combine the best of both worlds and keep things interesting. If you’re lifting weights at the gym, take your yoga class to the park. And if you’re running on the treadmill, take your cycling outside!

Where do you prefer to workout? Why? Share in the comments below!

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