The Ins and Outs of Exercise Environment

Do you prefer working out inside our out? Find out the benefits of each, and decide which works best for you.

October 30, 2015
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We all know exercise is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle and achieving our fitness goals. Whether you frequent the gym, or prefer to spend your time running or riding outdoors, your regular workout routine helps you to stay in shape, slim down, and be more energetic.

But when it comes to deciding which environment offers a better workout, there are decidedly two schools of thought. For some, the gym is the best place to focus on your all around fitness, while others can’t imagine exercising in the stuffy confines of a building. Which group is right? Lets take a look.

The Benefits of Exercising Indoors

Working out indoors is without a doubt a very different experience from exercising outside. The regulated environment of a gym removes certain variables that can have a direct impact on your performance, such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed. With those weather conditions no longer a factor, the workout becomes a bit easier, although some would say it is also more pure. The gym environment remains relatively constant, so there is less fluctuation in pace and intensity, which results in a more consistent level of performance overall.

Additionally, if you live in an area where air pollution is a major concern, working out indoors is probably a better option. Lots of pollutants in the air can cause asthma or induce allergies, which are obviously detrimental to your cardiovascular health. Exercising in a gym will help prevent that from happening however, which is reason enough for many to stay inside.

Many people also find the gym to be far more convenient since it provides so many types of workout options in one location. They can drop by at a time that works best for their schedule and focus on cardio, weight, and resistance training all in one spot. When you exercise outside, you sometimes need to find creative ways to mix things up.

Finally, going to the gym tends to be a much more social experience too, which can serve as a form of motivation on those days when you just don’t feel like being there. If there is a chance you might see friends or family however, it can be a great incentive to go to your workout.

How do the Outdoors Stack Up?

On the other hand, exercising outdoors brings its own set of benefits. For instance, when you work out outside, your body gets more exposure to the sun, which results in a higher production of vitamin D. This can greatly contribute to your overall level of health, as vitamin D can lower your blood pressure, prevent osteoporosis, and strengthen the immune system. There have even been studies that have shows that it can be extremely helpful at warding off some forms of cancer.

Exercising outside can also have a dramatic impact on your state of mind too. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors leads to more feelings of happiness, reduced levels stress, and lower cases of depression as well. Additionally, going outside can also lead to more energy too, which comes in handy not just when you’re exercising, but in other aspects of your life too.

One of the added benefits of working out outdoors is that you’ll burn more calories as compared to doing the same exercise at the gym. That means that if you run five miles outside you’ll end up working harder than if you did that same distance on a treadmill for example. This can lead to trimming down and toning up at a faster rate.

Finally, working out at the gym can become a boring, mind-numbing affair, which can ultimately lead to the downfall of just about any exercise programs. But mixing up your routine by heading outdoors and running or cycling new routes can add plenty of variety. This will not only help to keep things fresh, but it is good for maintaining motivation too. The key to any successful workout plan is to stay disciplined and focused, and exercising outdoors can play a key roll in achieving that.

As you can see, there are some good arguments in favor of both exercising indoors and out. Which one works best for you generally comes down to your own personal preferences, but any well-rounded fitness routine probably incorporates some of both options. After all, when it comes improving our fitness, why would we want to limit ourselves to just a few choices?

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