Comforts of the gym are welcoming. Big screen TVs, controlled climate, glossy new workout machines, and a water fountain at every turn; however, recent studies have shown that indoor exercise may not be as beneficial to your health, as outdoor exercise. Lately, researchers have come to the conclusion that the health benefits one can expect to see from outdoor exercise outweigh those of the indoor atmosphere of the gym.
It is well known that exercise keeps the body fit and helps with getting a good night's rest. According to the huffingtonpost.com, a Scottish health survey found physical activity outdoors has a 50% greater effect on one's mental health than the gym, which also aids in lowering stress. The scenery of the great outdoors is credited to boosting mood and self-esteem. Fresh air also provides more energy for a more productive workout. In a 2011 study, according to the BBC, researchers found that exercising outside resulted in greater decrease in tension, confusion, anger, and depression.
Avoiding the monotony of the gym can also help increase the success of weight loss. Taking your workout outside means that you will encounter obstacles, which may be more effective in the weight-loss process. Physical environment matters. Exercising outdoors is more strenuous, which causes the body to increase endurance. Working harder to maintain stability on adverse terrain creates a better workout than on the controlled, flat environment of a treadmill.
Researchers call outdoor exercise a reinforcing behavioral. This means you will keep at it because of the way it makes you feel, which in turn makes for more successful weight loss and endurance improvement.
Getting back to nature is a great way to release the stress that accumulates throughout the day due to work and other daily life encounters. Taking your workout outside allows for an increase in energy and more absorption of Vitamin D. It will also become something you want to continue with regularly, because you will see more success with your weight-loss goals. So next time you're sitting in traffic heading to the gym to ride a stationary bike, think about switching up your cardio, and plan a hike with friends or family.