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Running Outside Vs. Running on a Treadmill

Benefits of Exercising Outdoors Versus On a Treadmill

When most of us hear the word “exercise,” images of the treadmill, free weights and the gym come to mind. But exercising outdoors may be more beneficial than hitting your local indoor gym. These five benefits of outdoor workouts may be enough to get you out of the gym and to the nearest running trail.

1.    A More Effective Workout

Outdoor workouts tend to be more effective because there are so many variables at play that an indoor environment can’t replicate. When you run outdoors, you flex your ankles more. As the terrain changes, your workout becomes more intense. The wind adds resistance, too, so you push a little bit harder than you normally do.

One study compared the exertion of running outdoors to the exertion of running on a treadmill, and found that those on the treadmill expended less energy to cover the same amount of ground as those who ran outdoors.

If you want to maximize your workouts, get outside and start running, walking or biking.

2.    Better Environment

When it comes to workout environment, it’s hard to beat the great outdoors. You never know what you’ll discover or who you’ll meet when you go for a morning run on the trail. Go for a run at sunrise or sunset and the view will be hard to beat – even if you live in the city.

When you exercise at the gym, you know what to expect. The environment will be virtually the same every time you go.

3.    Greater Mood Boost

Most people agree that outdoor workouts are more satisfying, and new studies are starting to back up this claim. One study found that adults who exercised outside exercised for longer and more often than those who exercised indoors. Another study linked outdoor workouts to improved revitalization and energy, and decreased feelings of depression, anger, confusion and tension.

The bottom line: exercising outside makes you feel good.

That extra pleasure you get from your outdoor workouts will also make it easier for you to stick to your exercise routine. Rather than dreading your days at the gym, you start looking forward to your morning jog or bike ride at the local park.

4.    Healthy Sun Exposure

One of the major benefits to exercising outdoors is healthy sun exposure. Unprotected overexposure can be dangerous, but you can’t overlook the benefits that sunlight provides. When the sun’s rays hit your skin, your body creates vitamin D3, which is important for your immune system, metabolic function and your bone health.

Unfortunately, far too many people are deficient in vitamin D3 because we spend so much time indoors. Exercising outdoors can help replenish your vitamin D3 levels. Just be smart about the amount of time you expose your skin to the sun unprotected.

5.    More Affordable

Let’s face it – gym memberships can be expensive. You don’t need to spend a dime to exercise outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood, or go for a run along a local trail. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars a year just to stay fit. All you need is a good pair of sneakers, some sunscreen and weather-friendly clothes.

6. Pros of Treadmill

Now we figured we would have our last point touch on the good thing about a treadmill. Tracking results. You can know exactly how fast you are going and for exactly how far/long. Treadmills are great for keeping your workouts consistent.

However, you could always download a running app that will do the same exact thing if you are worried about tracking.

There are several benefits to exercising outdoors instead of in the gym. While outdoor workouts can be very beneficial, it’s still important to use common sense when it comes to extreme weather conditions. If it’s extremely hot or cold, an indoor workout may be the safer option.

In conclusion, if you are fine staring at a wall or tv running like a hamster on a wheel treadmills are for you! In our opinion being outside is far superior.

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