Sometimes it can feel like just owning a swanky gym membership is making you fitter but really, unless you pound that treadmill regularly, you’ll never see results. And with many of us hitting the gym hard at the start of the year and then falling into a couch potato rut, sometimes that costly membership could only be losing weight only in our wallets!
But good news! Exercising outside could actually be more beneficial than the gym, and here are the reasons why.
Parks, forests and even the pavement don’t charge a joining fee, a monthly direct debit or additional charges for a class. No, nature is free. For a small cost you could invest in some outdoor equipment like a jump rope and new trainers, or even splash out for a set of dumbbells, but this is a onetime fee and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
Gyms are clean of course, but they can be a breeding place for germs if equipment isn’t wiped down correctly, or people aren’t vigilant with any contagious ailments (like athlete’s foot or verrucas). Also it’s been found that indoor air is more than twice as polluted as outdoor air. So avoid the excess pollution and germ danger and get outside.
Burn more calories
Using the same equipment and routines every time you visit the gym can lead to our bodies adapting and the exercise becoming less efficient, therefore burning fewer calories. Working out outside can quickly combat this though, as you’ll have to face different terrains and weather conditions every time you exercise. Confronting your body with these unknown and unforeseen elements will keep it on its toes, and therefore it won’t become complacent.
Nature’s healing powers
Who doesn’t like to get outside when the sun is shining? Couple that with the exercise endorphins pumped around your body when you start working out and it’s a recipe for success. A study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website found that walking outside was more enjoyable than inside strolls. Nature can be a healing and soothing experience too, with improvements felt in the mind, body and soul.